Linebacker Nate D. Smith has emerged as a top player on Temple's defense, and he is getting help from a successful mentor. Nate's older brother, L.J. Smith, was a long-time tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles. L.J. is staying on top of Nate and making sure he does what is necessary to get better.
Nate leads Temple with 21 tackles on the season. He's also recorded a tackle for loss and forced three fumbles. On Thursday, he spoke with reporters about his brother's impact, according to csnphilly.com:
"Basically, he gives me pointers – on the field, off the field and just how to carry myself," Nate said. "He tells me to be smart out there, make good decisions and every time I’m at practice, to go 100 percent."
L.J. called Lincoln Financial Field his home with the Eagles for six seasons from 2003 to 2008. That's the same place where Nate now plays his home games with Temple. He will make his Big East debut at the stadium on Saturday against South Florida, and older brother is thrilled:
"He’s pretty excited for me," Nate said. "He can’t wait to see me get out there in conference play in the Big East and hopefully follow in his footsteps."
Nate has some pretty big shoes to fill. L.J. has played seven total seasons in the NFL, catching 253 passes for 2,556 yards and 18 touchdowns. He last played with Baltimore in 2009 and is currently a free agent.