Offensive tackle Jason Smith was very keen on making his transition from Baylor to the NFL as smooth and eventful as possible.
So three of the people who traveled to New York with him for Saturday's NFL Draft was Baylor coach Art Briles, offensive line coach Randy Clements and strength coach Kaz Kazadi. And when Smith got the call from the St. Louis Rams that they were going to use the No. 2 overall pick to select him, quite naturally it wasn't Smith who answered the phone in the green room at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
“Coach Briles answered the phone and allowed me to talk to Mr. (Billy) Devaney, the GM of the Rams,'' Smith said. “They took my BU pin off and put the Rams pin on my suit coat.''
Briles appreciates what Smith (6-5, 309) has given the Baylor program.
“This is a great day for Jason Smith and his family and a great day for the Baylor family,'' Briles said. "Baylor football couldn’t have better representative of our program at that level than Jason Smith right now.
"The Rams got a tremendous football player and a tremendous person with passion and discipline.”
While Smith was glad to have his family on hand for his memorable day, the Dallas W.T. White High School graduate was equally touched that the three Baylor coaches were also by his side.
"I'm excited that I was handed over to the Rams the right way, Smith said. "That Coach Kaz, Coach Briles and Coach Clements were with me.
"To God be the glory. I'm built Ram tough.''
-- Dwain Price