Seven players from the Big 12 Conference were drafted in the first round of this weekend’s NFL Draft, but none went higher than Baylor’s Jason Smith, who was made the No. 2 overall pick in the draft by the St. Louis Rams. (See video of the pick and Smith’s interview here, and a photo gallery here.)
As we’ve mentioned before — and head coach Art Briles reiterated this week — Baylor could not ask for a better representative than Jason Smith. Obviously he’s talented at his work, given his all-America honors and the fact that by going as the No. 2 overall pick, he matches the highest drafted Bears in school history (Jack Wilson went No. 2 to the Cleveland Rams in 1942, and Adrian Burk went No. 2 to the Baltimore Colts in 1950).
But Smith has also made a name for himself around football for his character. When he was interviewed immediately following his selection, his first words gave credit to God for this honor. He speaks highly of Baylor (both the university and the football program), and he demonstrated his loyalty to his friends and mentors by bringing to the draft head coach Art Briles, strength coach Kaz Kazadi and offensive line coach Randy Clements from Baylor, plus friend and former teammate Montez Murphy and his high school defensive line coach, Billy Thompson. He even found time to speak with kids at an NFL event on Friday, urging them to listen to their parents, stay in school, and always do the right thing.
Sic ’em in the NFL, Jason Smith!