Seminoles Sports | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Battling Adversity – The Sammie Smith Story

Sammie Smith is a Florida State football legend; a former NFL first round draft pick.

"I think my story is a story that needs to be heard by our youth,” Smith said.

Sammie was once that young athlete who thought, “I’m in the NFL, I can do whatever I want”, but learned the hard way, that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

"I went through some pretty difficult times and made some real bad choices,” Smith said.

Sammy had 7 years to think about those choices, doing time for possession and distribution of cocaine.

“You’re only human, people make mistakes, but it’s what you do with those mistakes and what you learned from those mistakes that’ll carry you on in life,” Smith said.

Now a man of faith, Smith has turned his life around.

“To leave home with all the great amenities and to have to go to a place where you’re told when to get up and when you can eat and when you can’t take a shower, it’s a truth the kids need to know the reality of what hangs out there if you make bad choices,” Smith said.

Why share that message?

"Steer kids in a different direction then what I was allowed to take. I felt like I let down a lot of people. For the longest time it was something I couldn’t get over,” Smith said.

But Sammie how we know you’ve learned your lesson? Why should we believe you won’t go back to that lifestyle?

“Coach Bowden wouldn’t vogue for a guy that he didn’t think had great character and he came out a couple of years ago when I was here in Tallahassee to get my rights restored and he stood up for me and understood that the choice I made those years ago was out of character for me and it’s a building process but it’s a process that I’m willing to take on, head on,” Smith said.


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