For the 2018 NFL Draft, a number of exceptional players have been drafted, whose dream of playing in the NFL has finally come true. One of them is Roquan Smith, a former 4-star recruit and the youngest recipient of the Butkus Award. He played college football at the Univesity of Georgia, where his athletic qualities are first class and were drafted by the Chicago Bears. Although his professional debut is yet to come, he is already considered one of the best defensive novices in the game and has what it takes to be a pro-bowl talent.
Who Is Roquan Smith?
Roquan Smith is the eighth overall Chicago Bears selection in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and is one of the top recruits of high school linebackers in the nation.
The Chicago Bears’ draft kicker was born on April 8, 1997, in Montezuma, Georgia, USA. He played soccer at Macon County High School in Montezuma, where he was an outstanding player, which led to universities like UCLA and Georgia taking notice of him and bringing him in. He was awarded a scholarship from UCLA and initially pledged to play for the Bruins on the day the contract was signed, but canceled when former Bruins defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich took a job with the Atlanta Falcons the day after the contract was signed and decided instead to pitch his tent at the University of Georgia’s Bulldogs.
A true rookie, Roquan appeared in 12 games, scored 20 tackles, and 95 in his second year, starting 10 0f 13 games. In his penultimate year, 2017, Roquan improved his game considerably when he was named Southeastern Conference (SEC) Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press after leading Georgia in tackles (112) and sacks (5½), and acting as a catalyst to ensure the Bulldog won the SEC championship match for the first time in 12 years.
The economics graduate was due to graduate in December 2018 but decided to go pro by entering the 2018 NFL Draft, losing his final year of qualifying, but not without setting the record as one of the most successful and distinguished defenders in modern history, with elite sporting qualities.
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He was named MVP of the SEC championship game and played with the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2017 national championship game of the College Football Playoffs (CFP). The linebacker also won the Butkus Award, which is given to the best linebackers in the country. He was also the first Georgia Bulldog to win this award since its inception in 1985.
Because he’s made of the stuff champions are made of, he was selected in the first round and in April 2018 the Chicago Bears placed him eighth in the overall standings. An effective linebacker with elite athletic skills, plus intelligence and the ability to be an effective cover linebacker on pass downs, but his full potential has yet to be realized.
Roquan Smith Family
Roquan, affectionately known as Quan by his family, was born to his loving parents, Roderick Smith and Shaquana Thomas, in their close-knit community of Montezuma, Macon County. His father was a construction worker in Macon, an hour from his home town, while his mother worked at Fort Valley State University in Oglethorpe, a town near Montezuma.
He has three siblings, an older brother, Rod Smith, and a younger sister and younger brother, Tyanna and Omar Richards. Because of his parents’ job, which took them away from home most of the day, Roquan had many other relatives during his childhood who helped him with his upbringing. These include his grandparents, Nathaniel Lamb and Betty Smith, his aunt Shaquanda Baker and many other well-meaning members of the community, including soccer coach Harold, Macon County school principal Rickey Edmond, the family’s friend Roy Yoder, for whom he dug wells, and Glory Story, who he refers to as his aunt even though they are not related.
In addition, his community sees him as a worthy ambassador and is very proud of him, especially for pushing them to the national front and supporting him in every way possible, and for them, there is only one Roquan Smith.
Height, Weight, Body Stats
Roquan was praised for his excellent speed and athleticism for the linebacker’s position with a side-to-side reach, as well as for his outstanding leadership skills, football intelligence, and great instincts that help him correctly diagnose where the ball is going. As a teenager, he was considered by people to be taller than children his age, but his physical attributes are not the ideal qualities for a linebacker. As a result, he struggles to get off the blocks as soon as the lineman reaches him.
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His short arms and small hands explain his difficulty in locking out and throwing big blockers and his inability to get away from some seemingly big guys, which limits his performance. Nonetheless, he has the speed and quickness that keep him from being mauled.
Anyway, here are his body statistics:
Height: 6′ 1″ (1.85 m)
Weight: 236 lbs
Arms Length: 32″
Hands size: 10