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October 1, 2011

Geno Smith Q&A

Atlanta cornerback Geno Smith made headlines last month when he chose Alabama over in-state rival Auburn. With his decision behind him, the St. Pius X star is now focused on his senior season and trying to lead his team to a state title.

Get to know the Crimson Tide commitment in this TideSports Q&A feature.

Q: How's your season going? 
A: It's going great. We're 5-0, and the team's been staying focused. Coach has been preaching staying together and being a family, so right now we're looking amazing.

Q: I saw where you're playing both ways, is that difficult to do?
A: No, not really. I started going both ways my sophomore year, so I've adjusted to it, and I feel like I'm in pretty good shape. It's going great.

Q: What do you enjoy the most: scoring a touchdown, making a bit hit or grabbing an interception?
A: Probably getting a bit hit, but because I got my first interception tonight, I would say getting that first one. Being on defense, knowing that you have to defend the play and pretty much take the ball from the offense is a joy.

Q: As a cornerback, what do you feel is your biggest strength?
A: Using my length. Using my length to stay with wide receivers and using my hips and my speed.

Q: Who do you model your game after and why? 
A: I kind of like to pick off a couple of different players. Deion (Sanders) is my favorite cornerback of all time. Right now, I'm looking at Darrelle Revis, and I just like how they're physical with the receivers. I know I'm a slim guy, but don't judge it by the book. I'm pretty physical with receivers and playing football in general.

Q: Are you glad to have the recruiting process behind you?
A: Yeah, definitely. That was one of the goals that I had when the process started, to take my visits, do my research and be finished with the process before my senior year because it's important to me.

Q: What was your favorite part about the process and what was your least favorite part?
A: My favorite part was being able to visit the campus, the different campuses around the country, seeing their facilities, meeting the head coaches that I've seen on TV since I was little. My least favorite part would be the drive back.

Q: Are any schools still recruiting you?
A: Yeah, Georgia, Auburn and Florida State.

Q: What are they telling you?
A: That it's a long way to signing day, but my mind's made up 100 percent, so I'm committed.

Q: Was it hard to leave the state of Georgia?
A: No, not at all. Growing up, I was a Georgia fan, but I wanted to get away from home, and Alabama just felt like home to me.

Q: Ultimately, what put Alabama over the top for you?
A: Just the tradition down there. I know Coach (Nick) Saban and what he has to offer, and I just want to be a part of that tradition down there. It's a long tradition since Bear Bryant, so I wanted to be a part of that.

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from your time down in Tuscaloosa?
A: Probably last year going to the game for the first time against Penn State and seeing the atmosphere, seeing the crowd, the fans. That was probably my best memory.

Q: What's your favorite food?
A: I'm all over the place, really. I like to eat. My favorite would probably be tacos. My mom makes some good tacos.

Q: When you're getting ready for a game, do you have any superstitions or things that you do?
A: I'm not really superstitious, but I like to watch Deion Sanders highlights, just listen to the music and watch him play because he was probably the best cornerback to ever play, so that gets me pumped.

Q: You're big on Deion. Is that who you want to end up being one day?
A: Yeah, I wouldn't mind it. He's dynamic, and that's one thing that separates him. Once he gets the ball in his hand, he's able to take it to the house.

Q: Do you have any nicknames?
A: Butterbean. I got it from my coach.

Q: Do you have a prediction for the Florida game?
A: 31-10 Alabama. I think Trent Richardson will have a big game with two touchdowns.

Check TideSports.com next week for video from Smith's game on Friday.


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