Welcome to part two of our ten part series called “Welcome to the Big Show” where we give you an in-depth look into each of the Vikings ten Draft selections of 2012. Brett did a fine job handling Part One, a look at Matt Kalil, and now we move onto our other first round pick, Harrison Smith.
Born on Groundhog’s Day in 1989, Harrison Smith grew up as an extremely gifted athlete.
From a young age, adults took notice of Smith’s leadership abilities and willingness to include everyone. His mother received calls from summer camp counselors telling stories of Smith comforting kids through the night as they cried from being homesick, and often including other kids in activities even when other children considered them outcasts.
Smith went to high school at Knoxville Catholic where he was a do-it-all player. Heck, he was even a solid basketball player. He ran wild as a running back, was a gifted receiver, and showed prowess on defense, and even averaged 14 yards per punt return as a senior. In 2006, he was selected as Tennessee’s Gatorade Football Player of the Year.
Having grown up at a Catholic school with a strict dress code, Smith got to Notre Dame and let his hair grow out. While drawing comparisons by some to Justin Bieber, he preferred the Scooby Doo comparisons and embraced the “Shaggy” role when Halloween rolled around.
He was a four star athlete coming out high school, with some schools envisioning him on offense and some wanting him to play defense. With offers on the table from a number of schools that included Tennessee, Auburn, and Alabama, Smith ended up choosing Notre Dame. His decision not to play for Tennessee ended up seeing his family be semi-spurned in their hometown.
At Notre Dame, he graduated from Mendoza College of Business with a management-entrepreneurship degree and enrolled in a graduate studies program.