After watching junior linebacker Telvin Smith record eight tackles, two for loss, and force a fumble against Miami last weekend, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher summed up the speedy linebacker with two simple words.
"He's just chaos. He's chaos walking," Fisher said in his postgame press conference. "He does a great job."
Despite splitting time with senior Vince Williams at middle linebacker, Smith has the third-most tackles on the team 33 stops, 7.5 of which have come behind the line of scrimmage.
"I go out there and play hard any chance I get," said Smith. "Any Chance I get to make a play I'm going to capitalize on that."
The former Valdosta Lowndes High star is at his best when he's able to freelance and just trust his instincts. Fisher said there have been plenty of times when Smith did not stick to his assignment correctly on a play, but still was able to make the tackle.
Fisher said the busted assignments are nothing special, and while they want Smith to reel it in some, he's cautious to not take away the freedom that has made Smith such a valuable weapon for the FSU defense.
"There's always a gray area in ball. It's not cut and dry, it's not PlayStation, you've got to make decisions," Fisher said. "You've got to make calls, you've got to make instinctive judgments on the field, things you see and pull the pin and make plays. Telvin does a great job in the gray area."
Still Smith said his focus this season in practice has been to get a better understanding of his assignments. He's working every day on finding the perfect balance between instinct and responsibility.
"Just trying to stay assignment perfect. That's what I try and focus on," he said. "Keeping my eyes more on my man and off the quarterback. I look at the quarterback and try and get all my reads at the ball most of the time. My eyes really follow the ball everywhere. I really try and focus on that everyday in practice, just stay assignment perfect and play ball."
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