Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith has quickly become one of the most popular members on the team.
Jessica Kartalija spoke with the speedster about his teammates, the tragic loss of his brother and how his family helps keep him grounded.
“It’s still weird. I’m adjusting to it,” Smith said of life in the spotlight.
The second-year wide receiver has quickly become a fan favorite.
“People noticing you and stuff, it’s definitely still weird. I’m trying to adjust to it; I’m just laid back,” Smith said.
After a standout collegiate career at Maryland, Smith was the Ravens’ second round pick in 2011. At 23, he says it’s a dream come true.
“I wanted to be here and for it to happen and to be in front of the same fans…you know, it’s a blessing,” Smith said.
The team has introduced Smith to several role models.
“I’d say `Big Ray,’ `Little Ray,’ also Ed Reed,” he said.
His teammates and fans across the country stood by his side when Smith’s younger brother, Tevin, was killed in a motorcycle crash in September.
“All that support was amazing. None of these people knew my brother but the fact that they showed us that much respect and support, it helped my mother and myself,” he said.
Smith helped raise his brother and five siblings while his mother, Monica Jenkins, worked two jobs to support the family.
“I tell people all the time I know everything about being a parent except for actually having my own kid. When my time comes, I will be good to go,” Smith said.
That time may come sooner than later. Smith recently got engaged.
“I wasn’t nervous at all. I only get nervous when I am unsure of something so that’s a good feeling that I wasn’t nervous,” he said.
Smith says his teammates will be by his side when he marries his college sweetheart.
“Probably LaQuan Williams and me and Ray Rice will be going to each other’s weddings, for sure,” he said.
Along with balancing a football career and planning a wedding, Smith started a foundation for at-risk youth and victims of domestic violence.
“It means a lot to me because I was in those shoes,” he said. “I think me being in the city is a blessing and I am really happy to be here and I want to make an impact on those kids,” he said.
Torrey Smith has set high goals for himself.
“I just want to try to continue to grow and be the best player I can be. In a dream world. I want to be in a city forever. You know, I love it here,” he said. “This is the place I want to be long-term.”
He founded the non-profit Torrey Smith Foundation. Its mission is to support at-risk youth with physical, educational and financial challenges. It also helps those affected by domestic violence.