Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: James Smith, DT, Charleston Southern University

james smithEvery year, NFL Draft Diamonds brings our readers the best in depth interviews on the internet. We specialize in giving players an opportunity to showcase their talents on our website. We conducted interviews last year with over 300 plus players. We want you to enjoy our interviews, because when these young men are in the league, we will not be surprised, and neither should you. 

What is your name?

James Smith

What is your Height/Weight?

6ft 285lbs

What is your position?

DT and FB

Where do you play college football?

Charleston Southern University

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

Only Furman recruited me out of High school

How did you choose your school?

I chose Charleston Southern because of the family oriented feel to the program. I knew i would build a good relationship with the guys on the team, and grow in my faith as well.

Where are you from?

I am from Greenville, SC

Who is your role model, and why?

My role model is John Randle. I always enjoyed watching his enthusiasm on the field. His motor was unmatched and I try to emulate his game play.

Have any scouts met with you yet, and if so what are they saying?

I have met with any scouts yet.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played basketball, track and field, and surprisingly fullback.

Did you play any other positions in football?

I played fullback in certain packages.

At your position, what separates you from others?

What separates me from others is my ability to play with great leverage and physicality. The low man win everyday day of the week.

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

When I break down film I look for different tendencies in the offensive line. Some lineman tip where they are going or what kind of blocking scheme they are doing. That helps me stayed two steps ahead them.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

The toughest player I have ever faced is Gus Handler. He played center at Colorado.

james smith 1If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

I compare myself to Ndamukong Suh. I play with that violence and motor that Suh plays with.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

The biggest obstacle i have had to face is turning the program at Charleston Southern around. My first two years in college were really rough. Freshman year we won ZERO games and only Five the next year. My junior year we had a whole new staff and new opportunity. For the first time ever here I had coaches looking at me to be leader on the team. I struggled to figure how to lead a bunch of grown men. So when fall camp rolled around that year I said to myself “No matter how tired or hurt I am, I am gonna bring that energy to practice everyday.” At the time I didn’t realize it but my teammates were depending on me to be that emotional leader that we needed. So no matter what the circumstances I brought that energy and passion on to the field to spark something in my fellow teammates. That really showed me the game is more than just football. We went on to go 10-3 that year reaching to No. 12 in the country at one point. I made the All-Conference and All-American teams. So when I look back on my college career i know i was apart of something special here at Charelston Southern that change the program forever.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Before every game i have to call my dad and take that pre game dump!

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my ability to play with leverage and speed.

What is your biggest weakness?

Being undersized for my position.

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

My effort and devotion to the game will never be questioned.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

My favorite team growing up was the Bengals and my favorite player was Warren Sapp/The entire Bucs defense

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

Three people I would eat dinner with would be Bill Clinton, John Randle, and Bo Jackson.

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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