Get to know U16 East All Star Team Defensive Back Jaylen Smith!
Jaylen Smith is a defensive back from Hamilton, Ontario who will be participating at the 2018 International Bowl in Arlington, Texas as a member of the Under16 Eastern Canadian Team.
He began playing the sport when he was seven years old as his father brought him and his brother Jawaun onto the field for the first time.
“He just threw pads on and ever since then, we started playing,” recalled Smith.
Since that time, Smith has played for several teams including the Hamilton Junior Tiger-Cats of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) and house league squads.
This past July, the defensive back helped Team Ontario win a silver medal at the Under-16 Eastern Challenge in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
“I was so thankful to be playing for that,” recalled Smith of the tournament. “It was a great opportunity, great coaches and great players.”
“It was just a lot of fun!”
While Smith may have many special moments like that as highlights, it’s the invaluable things that he appreciates more in this sport.
“The highlight has been meeting new people, having great coaches, just having a fun time and having a great experience playing football,” he said.
Deshaun Jackson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is Smith’s role model on the field.
“He is just a great receiver and I love watching him play when he played for the (Philadelphia) Eagles,” added the Ontario standout.
Away from the field, the defensive back credits his parents for all his successes in football and in life.
“They’ve been teaching me everything that I know and just being great people,” expressed Smith.
Initially in shock he made the national team, Smith is ecstatic about the opportunity to be part of the 2018 International Bowl.
“I feel very proud and very honoured that I get to represent my country down in Texas,” expressed the defensive back. “Thank you to my mom, dad and coaches for getting me there.”
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