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Cameron Smith adds valuable experience to Irish receiving corps

| Friday, November 17, 2017

Graduate transfer Cameron Smith joined the Notre Dame roster to add depth to the receiving corps. The wide receiver from Arizona State University (ASU) came to South Bend seeking to prove what he can do and easily integrated into the system.

Sarah Olson | The Observer
Irish wide receiver Cam Smith jukes out a defender during Notre Dame’s 20-19 loss to Georgia on Sept. 9.

The product of Coppell, Texas, racked up 1,000 yards his senior year of high school. Smith said he enjoyed his time playing in high school especially because of the atmosphere.

“Good times [in high school], I miss high school football,” Smith said. “It’s — I wouldn’t say a small city — my high school was pretty big but, the city wasn’t that big, so football was pretty big there because that was like, not all you have but, a lot of the attention went there. I enjoyed my time there.”

He added his success in his senior season of high was a result of trying to make up for an injury that sidelined him for much of his junior season.

“So, I was hurt my junior year — missed like half the season — so I came into my senior year just trying to make the most of it, the expectations weren’t really there,” Smith said. “I got my first offer like halfway through and it was Illinois, for me, that was great like, I was ready to sign right there. Just game after game I continued to click with my quarterback and more offers rolled in and here I am now.”

On his decision to come to Notre Dame, Cameron added that he thought this was a good opportunity for him to prove what he was able to do on the field.

“I have a history of injuries at ASU and at that point, I felt like my opportunities there were kind of limited,” Smith said. “So, the coaches that were at ASU are now here — some of them — and I felt like coming here, I would have an opportunity to display what I’ve already showed back then, before I was injured because that’s what they saw. I just felt they would know what I’m capable of doing.”

The ASU wide receiver managed to make the All-Pac-12 First-Team and Second-Team squads while playing for the Sun Devils, but Smith says that those accomplishments don’t mean much to him. Football, he says, is more about personal growth than it is anything else.

“The rewards never really got my attention too much,” Smith said. “I just try to handle my business on and off the field, and whatever happened, happened. I appreciate it but, it’s not the end goal for me; it’s just more about bettering myself, the accolades and awards never really had been a focal point. I play football because it gives me an opportunity to show my growth essentially, day-by-day progression type of deal. That’s what I think life is all about, just growing.”

With that in mind, it is no surprise that Smith’s favorite experience at Notre Dame has been becoming a part of the brotherhood of the football team.

“Honestly, just going through the grind with my teammates [has been my favorite part],” Smith said. “We have tough workouts so, just being able to see my brothers on my left and right sticking together and going through difficult times and enjoying the triumphs have been my favorite moments.”

Apart from football, Cameron has found a passion for bodybuilding, a product of being sidelined for the entire 2015 season at ASU due to injury.

“Bodybuilding man, I’m really into bodybuilding,” Smith said. “When I got hurt that 2015 year that’s all I did, like three times a day I was in the gym, lifting. After football, that’s what I plan to do.”

In respect to that 2015 season, Cameron commented on how tough that season was for him adding that he grew mentally from it.

“Yeah, it [was] very tough, staying on the sideline is not fun at all once you’ve already been out on the field,” Smith said. “I was itching to get back on the field and just play some football. [Mental growth is] inevitable in my opinion. If your heart is into it, I think you learn things not being on the field and just watching other players play.”

Smith provided some final thoughts about his gratitude for an opportunity to play for the Irish and his hope that he can get back on the field, after recovering from a current injury.

“I’m just grateful that I was given an opportunity to come here and I appreciate everyone who has supported me through the tough times,” Smith said. “I’ve missed a couple of games now so I kind of feel like I haven’t been contributing the way I should have but, I hope that soon, very soon, I can get back out on the field.”

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