Ito Smith is a 5’9”, 201 pound running back out of Southern Mississippi. The Mobile, Alabama native finished his career with over 4,500 yards rushing and nearly 1,500 yards receiving. We previously profiled Smith as part of our draft coverage but recently reached out to the NFL hopeful to check on his training routine, his thoughts on his journey to the league, and if yoga really works.
At what point in your college career did you realize you could make it to the NFL?
Probably my sophomore year at Southern Miss. I had a lot of yards rushing and receiving and I kinda exploded on the scene. We nearly won a conference championship. My goal became rushing for 1,000 yards each season after that.
What would you say contributed to your success in college?
I like to watch a lot of film. See what I’m doing, what other backs are doing out there. Get to know what my line is going to do, just trust the line to block for me. We had a real good line this past year that helped me put up the numbers I did. Overall just work on every aspect of my game to make it better.
Focusing specifically on your game, what do you think are your strengths?
I’m an all around back. I can do it all and do it well. I can run the ball and catch it, I’m not afraid to block and I make plays. I’m a multipurpose running back.
Confidence aside, what is something you are looking to improve on?
I would say my route running. Just getting more crisp and learning to play out in the slot. I think I could get some time in the slot so I just wanna get better with my routes. I know I could be a slot guy.
Speaking of working on your receiving skills, the Arizona Cardinals currently have one of the best running backs in the league in David Johnson. How do you think you’ll fit in if selected by the Cardinals?
I’m just looking to go somewhere and compete. I don’t have any expectations, I just want to work my tail off and earn some time.
In terms of the draft process, have you kept up with the speculation of where you might end up and when you’ll be selected?
I pay no attention to ranks or draft boards. I know I’m one of the best backs coming out and the general managers and scouts will see and understand that.
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How have you been preparing for your pro day?
I work out six days a week, twice a day. I do basic position drills, work on my hands, and speed drills. I’m out in Humble, Texas training with Armed Sports. Pro Day is March 29 so I’m just getting my work in.
Smith will have all eyes on him at the Southern Miss Pro Day later this month. If he can show gains in speed and show-off his refined pass catching skills, it could be the catalyst that pushes his draft stock into higher levels. At the end of the day it is all about getting an opportunity. Having watched the film and spoken to the player, Smith will make the most out of any opportunity given to him.