He was a walk-on to the Nuestra dama football team in 2010 como seguridad y fue miembro del Cuerpo de Entrenamiento de Oficiales de Reserva Naval en la escuela. Smith completó su título y trabajó a tiempo completo para Navy ROTC, attended dive school in Florida and spent a year training to become an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer at Eglin Air Force Base for the U.S. Armada, according to The Washington Post.
With a few years of collegiate eligibility left, Smith made the Vanderbilt roster as a 32-year-old walk-on athlete while he studies at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
“I loved being part of a team at Notre Dame,” el dijo The Washington Post in a recent interview. “I got a very similar feeling during deployment, and I loved that. It was reminiscent of being on a football team. I loved the feeling, and this voice in the back of my head kept asking how great it would be to feel it again.
“You know it’s all going to go away at some point. I’ll always be a part of the military, but how long will I be on a small eight-man platoon? It’s just like football; I know it will run out.”
Smith was listed as a safety for Notre Dame after lettering for two years at East Catholic High School in Connecticut. He earned first-team All-Central Connecticut Conference Honors as a team captain and played four years for the school’s ice hockey team.
El dijo El Tennessean he felt like he could still play and got in touch with the Vanderbilt football team through a friend who was on the staff.
“I felt like I was up to the task and knew how to take care of myself and be a smarter player. I had something left to give and after some talks with people, they gave me that opportunity,” Smith told The Tennessean.
Smith did three tours in the Middle East and met his wife Allison while on duty. His wife Allison was a four-year letter winner as a swimmer at the Naval Academy and she and Smith have two children.
“She’s the real bada–,” he told the Post. “She’s the rock of our family when we need it. There are only 24 hours in the day and I’m gone a lot, but she helps me to not worry about things when I can’t be at home but then also enables me to come right back in when I am home and feel like a part of the family.”
Herrero, who was promoted to lieutenant commander recently, planned to finish grad school and the season before serving once more, according to The Tennessean.
The team has two straight home games coming up – on Saturday against Stanford for Medical Appreciation Night and Sept. 25 for Turner’s Heroes Day against Georgia. The team’s final home game isn’t until Nov. 13 against Kentucky, which is also Salute to Service Day.