In the lead paragraph of this blog post, I’m contractually obligated to say something about things being really slow because of the work stoppage in an attempt to justify the need to post about something that, under normal circumstances, would be lucky to find its way into our daily links.
But I was intrigued by a feature in this weekend’s San Francisco Chronicle. Tom FitzGerald profiles Aldon Smith, who was the 49ers’ top pick in April’s draft. He’s also probably the least known player selected in the top 10.
FitzGerald has some fun details on Smith, starting with this:
Smith would like to work for the Drug Enforcement Agency when his pro football days are done, giving the law a pair of extremely long arms. Friends and family members say he has a fine singing voice and plays the drums for the church choir. It’s also known that his pain threshold is very high, he’s very loyal to his teammates and enjoys football so much that a broken leg is just an annoyance.
Last year with Mizzou, Smith returned to action for a big game against Oklahoma despite being hampered by a broken fibula. The Tigers won the game and Smith had his only career interception. FitzGerald compares him to Jack Youngblood, but Bobby Baun isn’t far off, either.
That’s the kind of mentality NFL coaches love, and the Niners are hoping that it carries over to the pros. They don’t want another Kentwan Balmer.
And in addition to being a future law enforcement superstar and having the voice of an angel, Smith is quite poetic. “A sack feels like a kiss from a girl you like a lot,” he told FitzGerald, immediately giving me one of my favorite quotes related to the game of football.
I love this kid, and I’m not only saying that because I feel a bit guilty for predicting — wrongly — that he’d plummet on draft day.