Joining Smelley on the South team were linebacker
“Ninety percent of the guys that play in the Senior Bowl play in the NFL the next year,” Smelley said. “I knew that at least a couple of the guys would be on the same team (as me) the next year. I was lucky to have Brandon and Acho because they’re both classy, really good guys, good teammates and great players.”
Behind a 133-yard, all-purpose effort from University of Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead -- who earned game MVP honors after returning a punt a Senior Bowl record 98 yards -- the North defeated the South, 23-13. Although Smelley’s team did not win, the opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl “was a fun experience” for him, especially because the game was in his home state.
Smelley grew up four hours north of Mobile in Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama, his alma mater.
“I still have a lot of friendships and people I still talk to that were from that experience,” Smelley said. “It was a good week, a great week of exposure to scouts and NFL teams. I think that week helped me a lot to show teams what I could do and kind of showcase the different skills I have on the field.“I loved the Senior Bowl and having it in Alabama is pretty sweet. There were a lot of fans representing for us down there.”