Q&A: Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith

Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith is finally feeling 100 percent after a nagging toe injury hindered him in 2011. After rushing for 615 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, he is ready for more.

How are you feeling now that practice is under way?

Orwin Smith: I'm feeling great. We just want to take this camp and polish ourselves. We’ve definitely shown we’ve improved.

How about your toe?

OS: Feeling good, not one problem.

So I read you spent some of the offseason doing different workouts. One of them was yoga. How did you get into that?

OS: I heard guys talking about what they do to stay healthy and recover, and yoga is one of the things they mentioned and something I wanted to get in to. During the spring semester, I got out of class, and there happened to be a girl sitting next to me. Her mom was a yoga instructor. It was a random conversation, but we set something up. We did a few sessions throughout June to see how guys would like it and then July we did it more. She came to the stadium. At the beginning, the class was full, maybe around 40 to 50 guys.

So what was it like having this huge group of football players doing yoga in the stadium?

OS: It was great. We lined up in rows of 10, and she went in front of us. We had to do poses, and if she saw someone not doing a post correctly, she would come and fix your posture. It was very different, but fun at the same time. You could see how flexible you are. Some of the more flexible guys on the team couldn't do some of the poses. So it was definitely different.

How did it help you?

OS: It helped me a lot. Before, I couldn’t sit on the ground and touch my toes, now I can go past the middle of my foot. It loosened up my hamstrings and back. I feel good from it. I plan on doing it every Sunday during the season.

You also had a busy summer with an internship at a local beverage distributor.

OS: Yes. Our workouts are early in the morning at 6 every day. I would go to workouts, then class, then to work. I was in the accounting department, so I handled expenses and I did a lot of inventory. I did a lot of filing. I did a lot of bookkeeping. After work, I would go back to the stadium and do seven-on-sevens.

And you did some training on your own, too.

OS: Last summer was my first time training on my own. I did the basics, running on my own, a lot of skill work. I was pleased with the results I had, so this summer I came in with the same attitude and I just added more work. I talked to a couple trainers and NFL players. One of the main things they told me was overworking your body doesn't give you improvement. I did more intense work but for a shorter time, so I feel like it really helped.

How so?

OS: I'm running longer, I'm running faster. It took me a while to get up to par with the guys, because I didn't do spring. But this whole summer, I’m feeling so good. I’ve run the fastest times I've ever done on our conditioning test. We haven’t done the 40, but I ran the 300-yard shuttle in about 50 seconds. That’s the fastest I've done.

You also have mentioned you want to lead the nation in all-purpose yards. How will you accomplish that goal?

OS: Running the ball has never been an issue. I want to make improvement in the passing game. If I can get some catches and more big plays …. I should also be doing kick returning and punt returning, so I definitely will have a chance.

You returned 18 kickoffs last year, but when was the last time you returned punts?

OS: I haven't done punt returns ever at Tech, so it's going to be something new. I did it in high school. It comes natural to me. I sat down with our special-teams coach and I believe in his schemes and how he runs things. He makes me feel comfortable to be out there.

How about at B-back, anybody surprising you?

OS: One person that’s really surprised me is Zach Laskey. He’s doing a tremendous job back there. David Sims has been hurt, and Charles Perkins has had some nagging injuries. Zach has filled that void. I've been giving him praise, because I'm loving the way he's running the ball.