#CFCOPC PLAYERS TO WATCH: Team Central Sophomore LB Smith motivated by the pressure

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com’s Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) on the April 29th weekend at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. In the days leading up to OPC, CFC will profile the teams and players participating in the big event. 

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Tayo Smith has always been very vocal on the field.

“The biggest attribute that stands out in my game is my leadership skills on the field. I’m capable of grabbing the team’s attention and using it towards picking up the intensity & using it as an edge over any opponent,” he stated. “With being a good leader I make sure that I’m vocally strong and to lead with my actions by making big plays on a consistent basis.”

All through his football career, Smith has played defensive end, but has just recently begun playing linebacker, which he believes increases his value.

“I played defensive end as my strength and quickness along with many more attributes have lead me to be considered as a big threat to blockers as both a pass rusher and run stopper,” mentioned the former Toronto Jr. Argo. “I made the decision to switch to linebacker to become a more versatile player that allows me to be valuable in multiple ways in schemes. With my strong vision of the field, strength, and quickness being a key part of my game it allows me to stand out as a valuable player.”

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He says his favourite player is an up-and-coming NFL linebacker who put together quite the collegiate resumé.

“Denzel Perryman is hands down my favourite player. The reason being is simply his raw strength and the similarities that we both share,” elaborated Smith. “Not only can I relate to him with his height being slightly lower than the average player for position, but, [also], his playmaking abilities and his quickness that he uses to shed blockers in front of him makes it easy for him to clean up any tackles ahead of him.”

On April 30, Smith will add to his own resumé that already includes a CISSA high school title when he takes to the turf at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton for the 2016 Ontario Prospect Challenge.

“I discovered OPC through my friends who have gone through it,” he said of becoming familiar with the event. “The process so far has been really enjoyable and a tremendous learning experience.”

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The Etobicoke Eagles standout is looking forward to showing himself off to scouts in attendance at OPC, and using the game as a measuring stick to improve his game.

“I am hoping to showcase my talents and knowledge of the game to as many schools and scouts to have my name to be discussed across the map. OPC has provided me a great opportunity to compete with some of the best players in the province within my age group,” Smith conveyed.

“Because of this it allows me to see where I stand in comparison of other athletes and helps me a player to use this as great learning experience to work harder in areas where I can improve and to polish up whatever skills that I may be struggling with.”

He is quick to assure that, as a leader, the added stress of the OPC can not and will not get to him.

“Because of the many experiences that I have had with a leadership role and being heavily depended on in very intense games the added ‘pressure’ would be an adrenaline rush,” expressed the 5’9, 220-pound linebacker. “When every move and decision that I make on the field has an impact on the game as a whole, it really motivates me to be at the top of my game. Because of this it goes to show that I can be an important asset to the team.”

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Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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