football Edit

Better Know A Badger: Alex Smith

Wisconsin's 2018 signing class will be joining the team full-time in June, so BadgerBlitz.com will be checking in with the team's incoming freshmen as they make the jump from being high school prospects to a Wisconsin student-athlete.

Alex Smith, a three-star athlete from Culver City, Ca., spoke with BadgerBlitz.com about how he's feeling now that his career with the Badgers is right around the corner. Our questions and his answers are included below.

Miss an interview? Catch up here:

QB Chase Wolf / LB Jack Sanborn

How did it feel for you to officially wrap up your recruitment and send in your letter of intent last year? Did it feel like a weight off of your shoulders or have you been itching to get going since the end of last year?

Alex Smith: It feels great. It feels like everything that I’ve done since I’ve been eight years old has finally paid off. (It feels like) the end of this chapter of my life and the beginning of the next chapter, just everything finally coming together. It was a short period of relief, but soon after that it was about getting back to work and trying to get better so I can get on the field as soon as possible.

What was it about Wisconsin that stood out to you and made you want to commit to them so early in the recruiting process?

Alex Smith: First I saw the academic side - they’re very big on that. Really rigorous academic school, so that stood out for sure. And then on the football side, over the years the winning tradition that they have, just everything like putting players into the NFL, the coaches and the community really just felt like home when I went up there. It felt like a home away from home, and that’s just where I wanted to be.

Did other teams kind of leave you alone once you had committed, or were there a few who stayed on you until the end?

Alex Smith: For the most part teams kind of backed off, but two schools kind of stayed on me - Washington State was pretty heavy and Oregon as the season went along they offered me late, but Wisconsin just stayed strong and that was where I felt the best at, so I stayed with them.

There's a lot of playing time up for grabs in the defensive backfield this fall - do you think that if you adjust well to the college game you could put yourself in a position to play during your first year with the team?

Alex Smith: Most definitely, that’s the goal. I’m going up there with the mindset of getting to work. I’m working all the time so I can get on the field, trying to learn everything and get acclimated to everything so I can do my best.

What's one memory or game that you will always remember from high school now that that chapter of your life is almost over?

Alex Smith: For a game I would have to say it would be our second round playoff game this year. We drove like three hours away to go play all the way in Cochella Valley and the game was back and forth, back and forth. It really showed truly not only what I was made of but my team as a whole. It was a really good experience, just travelling out there all the way with my guys and coming out of it with a hard-fought victory.

Was there a point where you realized that you could really be a Division 1 football player? Or did it take a while for that idea to dawn on you?

Alex Smith: I think it all started my sophomore year. There was a guy in the 2017 class and he had a whole bunch of schools coming up to take a look at him from the Pac-12, the ACC, SEC, and I looked at him and thought ‘Wow, this could really be done.’ And then my junior year when I received my first scholarship offer it was like ‘Wow, I could really do this.’ That pushed me to work harder and harder to earn more, and it helped me get to where I am today.

Do you have any plans for what you want to study when you get up to Wisconsin for school?

Alex Smith: I plan to study business real estate - that’s what I’d like to do. That’s been in my family for quite some time - my father has done it, uncles, aunts, and all that. I think I’d really enjoy doing that.

Finally, what are you looking forward to the most about your first year on campus with the Badgers?

Alex Smith: On the football side of things I’m just looking forward to growing, just to see what I can do better in the weight room to get bigger and stronger and faster and see how much I can improve my overall game. And then on the academic side of things I just want to see what I can learn and attain to use in the real world so that I can be successful one day.

___________________________________________________

John Veldhuis covers Wisconsin football, basketball and recruiting for BadgerBlitz.com on the Rivals.com network. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnVeldhuis.