Thursday, May 12, 2011

Torrey Smith kicks off pro career with flying colors

Think about this for a second – and I know most of you have been in a similar situation before…

You go through high school, college, internships and now it’s time to put those experiences to work in the world of wage earning.

You successfully set up an interview with your ideal employer and you’ve managed to get through the initial phases of the screening process. But now it’s time to go face to face with the Big Cheese who is known to toss a few curve balls at prospective new employees.

All those hours of studying; all the investment in tuition; all of the soul searching sifting through your thoughts on exactly what it is you want to do with your life – all of it culminates in a few defining moments with the person who can open the door to your future or derail it indefinitely.

It’s a red letter day in your life.

Can you feel it?

Such was the case for Torrey Smith on April 30, 2011.

Here’s a man who had his mind set on this day his entire athletic career and he’s brought in to face the media – a collection of reporters who will poke and pry and in some way affect his future.

It’s his very first press conference as a member of the Baltimore Ravens, a team that Torrey’s mom hoped would come calling for her son.

If Smith was nervous the way most of us would have been it certainly didn’t show. If anything he controlled the press conference with veteran savvy.

Smith shared the stage with fellow rookie and first round pick Jimmy Smith. When the media drilled down on Jimmy and questioned the character issues that forced him to slide down the draft board and into the waiting arms of the Ravens at No. 27, teammate Torrey stepped up in his defense.

“I’ve had the opportunity to know Jimmy myself, getting to know him over the process, and he’s a great guy. The way the media tries to portray him, I feel that’s not him. He’s a great guy, he’s down to earth, and like you said, these things are in the past, so I just feel like people should focus more on what he’s about to do from this day forward.”

In so many words, Torrey essentially told us all to forget all we’ve read about Jimmy and the mistakes he made as a 17 or 18 year old kid. He’s learned from his mistakes and he’s grown. Let’s judge him on what he does from this point forward as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Ray Lewis would have been proud…

The entire organization was proud.

Just imagine the impression he made on fellow new “co-worker” Jimmy.

During this defining and nervous moment (for most), Torrey Smith demonstrated veteran poise, presence and maturity, all of which will serve him well as he prepares to take on the mental and physical challenges of becoming a wide receiver in the NFL.

Although he’s yet to step foot between the lines while wearing the purple and black, Torrey Smith’s professional football career could not have gotten off to a better start.

And there’s little doubt that the Big Cheese gave him a big thumbs up!