Last year, Florida State's Telvin Smith shared the middle linebacker job. This year, it's all his. David M. Hale has the story:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It all hit home for Telvin Smith two weeks ago, when a horde of his former teammates took the field at Doak Campbell Stadium to work out for NFL scouts at Florida State's pro day.
A few years ago, Smith had sat next to them in meeting rooms and across from them in the dining hall, trading stories about what it would be like when they finally reached their goals. Now, so many of those dreams had come into focus, and Smith was a bit overwhelmed by how far he'd come and how little time was left.
"That just opens your eyes that it's one step away," he said. "That's all that showed me, is that I need to focus up and get where they're at."
Smith has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two seasons as a platoon player at middle linebacker, but as he approaches the finish line of his college career, 2013 represents a turning point, a chance to blossom into an every down performer.
A year ago, Florida State's middle linebacker platoon of Smith and Vince Williams combined for 123 tackles, a tally that would've ranked second in the ACC had it belonged to a single player. But Williams has moved on, and this season Smith will get his chance to prove he's ready to put up comparable numbers on his own.
Read the rest of Hale's story here.