LSU’s Michael Smith is a Light and Witness in the Tiger’s Locker Room

LSU backup offensive lineman Michael Smith doesn’t see much playing time but still plays an important role on the team. A teammate says, “You won’t find a guy on the team who doesn’t appreciate him being around.” Photo courtesy of Chris Parent/LSU Athletics

BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) — You probably won’t see LSU’s Michael Smith on the field in Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship game against Clemson.

Smith, a backup offensive lineman for LSU, has only seen playing time in one game this year. But that doesn’t diminish the importance of his role on the team.

“Everybody on our team has a role, whether it’s Joe Burrow playing every single snap on offense or Michael Smith who contributes in a different way,” said Blake Ferguson, the LSU deep snapper. “That’s what makes this team so tight-knit is that everybody understands their role.

“With Michael, he has this sort of infectious energy,” Ferguson continued. “You won’t find a guy on the team who doesn’t appreciate him being around. Michael also has a mindset that he’s going to do whatever it takes to help the team win. He’s going to go pick up trash in the locker room, if that’s what it takes. He’s going to go hold cards on the sideline for the personnel if he needs to. It doesn’t matter to him what the role is.”

For Smith, his humility in embracing his role on the team is rooted in his Christian faith. He grew up in a Christian household in Killeen, Texas, after his parents met each other and became believers while serving in the army in Korea. Smith made a profession of faith at age 13, was baptized at age 15 and has been walking with the Lord since then.

“God has just placed me in the locker room to be a witness, and to be a light, and just to witness to my teammates and let them know what it looks like to be able to play football at this level and to serve Christ,” Smith said. “Even though I may not see a lot of playing time, I do understand the game very well and am able to communicate and help my teammates understand things.”

His dream ever since he was 2 years old, he said, was to play football for LSU. He made the team as a walk-on, and this year earned a scholarship for the first time. For him, football is a way to worship the Lord by using his God-given gifts and abilities.

“When we can perform to the best of our ability, we give glory to Him,” Smith said. “So, I take that mindset with me every day.”

At 6-foot-2, 325 pounds, Smith’s nickname of “Bus” is a fitting one, and it’s a term of endearment from a team and a community that delights in Smith’s warm personality.

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Source: Baptist Press