Shi Smith honors Gamecocks and family in the NFL

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:13 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - He’s gone from shining on Saturdays.

“The level of confidence definitely increased for me.” Shi Smith, former Gamecock and current Panthers receiver, said.

To making his name heard on Sundays.

“There’s still a lot more stuff that I need to learn, but I feel like I’m getting comfortable,” Smith said. “And I’m ready to go.”

Shi Smith ended his career at South Carolina ranked in the top 10 in career catches and receiving yards. That experience with SC prepared the receiver for the NFL.

“Just being that everyday dude, coming in here stacking days, being consistent, making plays,” Smith said. “Just going out there and playing without thinking.”

Smith is proud to represent the Gamecocks on the biggest stage.

“A lot of pride. It means a lot to me, man,” Smith said. “Especially going to South Carolina out of high school. It’s just like, ‘Oh man, y’all at the bottom of the SEC’ like noise like that and ‘A lot of guys don’t come out or come out and go to the league.’ So it means a lot to me to represent them guys and show it could be done”

For further inspiration, Smith need only to look down at the necklace around his neck. It shows his brother, who passed away in 2012.

“He’s always with me. That’s why I never take it off,” Smith said. “I sleep in it knowing that could be dangerous. I shower in it. I play in it. I practice in it. I do everything in it. Just knowing that he’s with me.”

Smith is ready to lace up and live his NFL dream.

“When I’m laying in bed, just unwrapping thinking about everything it’s like dang man, I’m here,” Smith said. “That’s what I dreamed of. So, while I’m here, I’m gonna take advantage of it and do what needs to be done.”