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January 4, 2013

Freshman stands out at Army Combine


MORE: Complete U.S. Army All-American Bowl coverage

SAN ANTONIO -- The U.S. Army National Combine plays host to some of the best underclassmen in the nation. Usually there aren't many freshmen but this year there is one that really stood out.

Defensive end Rahshaun Smith made a name for himself Friday when he beat some of the better offensive linemen in the Alamodome.

At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, "Shaq" was too much for many of the older, more experienced offensive linemen and it was easy to see how much he has trained.

"At Next Level Nation they put us through a very hard and strict speed and agility training regiment every day of the week," Smith said. "I have to give a big thanks to them for helping me to get to where I am today."

One of Smith's training partners is U.S. Army All-American Eli Apple.

"I feel like when I work out with Next Level Nation it's the best competition in the country. If I'm beating them and working with them, then I will be prepared for the best competition.

"That prepares me for combines like this. I like going up against the best at these combines as a younger player because I want to get my name out."

On multiple occasions, Smith, a 2016 recruit, got to the quarterback and let out a victorious yell that could be heard through the cavernous Alamodome.

"It's part of my character and when I step on the football field I just let everything go. Being outspoken is just part of me, part of my game."

Many schools have already been taking a look at the freshman from Towson (Md.) Calvert Hall.

Boston College, Maryland and Youngstown State have offered Smith and Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State and Wake Forest have shown interest.

That type of attention brings a lot of pressure but Smith doesn't seem phased.

"I just take it day by day and try to not let it overwhelm me. I'm only going to speak to guys I need to speak to," said Smith. "I don't really feel pressure because of the way I'm handling things and because of the way my coaches have taught me to handle things.

"Coming in, I trained very hard and wanted to show my best. I think I gave it my best effort and hopefully everyone saw it."

Clearly, there are high expectations for Smith. And so far he is exceeding them.



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