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December 29, 2017

Roquan Smith

Pasadena, California

Q. When you're in your skyscraper hotel, do you think what it would have been like to go to school here?
ROQUAN SMITH: To be perfectly honest, that's why I like being here. I haven't thought about it like that, like wow, I could have been out here every day. I haven't really thought about it like that. Like yeah, and as I think about it now, like the years I've had at Georgia and whatnot, I can't really envision myself anywhere else. So just being here, being at Georgia and then just having the opportunity to come out here and play in this game, it's pretty awesome. But I love Georgia, and that's the only place I can see myself at.

Q. What kept you from coming out here and brought you to Georgia?
ROQUAN SMITH: I would just say it's God. I don't know, it's just like, I'm just lucky to be at the University of Georgia. That's my main thing.

Q. How much validation is that knowing that you're here for this game now and the teams you could have played for, they're not?
ROQUAN SMITH: It's big time. You know, like they never played in the Rose Bowl. Only a few get to do it throughout their college career, so just being one of those teams that actually get to do it, it's a huge honor, and we're very grateful to be here, and for myself, I'm thankful for having great coaches, great teammates and everything like that to help everyone get here and whatnot.

Q. Talking to recruits or something, how do you describe (indiscernible)? What's it like to play for him?
ROQUAN SMITH: Every time someone new is coming around like when we came in at the end of my freshman year and whatnot, I always do my research, so I'm always doing my research. I do my research on guys and just looking at his track record and everything, it speaks for itself, but he's a great guy to play for, and just the way he cares about his players and whatnot, have a great relationship, and it just means a lot, like more than just football. You can have jokes and everything like that with him. It's great just being able to play for a guy like that.

Q. How would you answer --
ROQUAN SMITH: I would say he's the defensive coordinator, so it's his defense.

Q. How do you see that dynamic? Obviously Kirby makes no --
ROQUAN SMITH: Well, he's the head coach, so you know the head coach has control of everything. I'm sure he'll grab some offensive players, as well. It's just all a part of it.

Q. You mentioned Shuman. What did you research on him? He was kind of tough for us to find information on. He was kind of a behind-the-scenes guy. What could you find out about him when he first came here?
ROQUAN SMITH: Well, I Googled some stuff and seen that he was like -- did a lot of behind the scenes work, and then I was just asking some people about him, some players from over there, and they was talking about how much of a guru he was. Then when I met him and watching film with him, I was like, wow, this guy is really that.

Q. What's with the gray sweats?
ROQUAN SMITH: Oh, he's been doing it ever since he got here. He says he's consistent in what he does, and he'll continue to do it regardless of the weather, whether it's 95 degrees or whether it's 31 degrees, he'll be in it.

Q. What's his explanation of that particular outfit?
ROQUAN SMITH: I have no idea. I'm not sure whether it's he doesn't want any tan in or what is it. I have no idea. But I think it's -- I don't know.

Q. How badly do you want to play against Baker?
ROQUAN SMITH: It's going to be big playing against the Heisman Trophy winner, a decorated player like that. I'm sure he's a competitor. Regardless of what's wrong with him, he's going to do his best to play in that game, and I'm sure he'll be in that game, so we're definitely looking forward to that.

Q. How much have you noticed him over the course of the season?
ROQUAN SMITH: You definitely hear things. I'm a college football fan even though I don't get a chance to watch it as much over the course of the season. But hearing stuff here and there on Sundays, you hear the college football final scores and everything like that, and just hearing about some of the numbers he was putting up throughout the year, it's always big, and then just being able to play against a guy like this, it speaks for itself, and he won the Heisman.

Q. He likes to get under your skin and trash talk. How do you deal with a player like that?
ROQUAN SMITH: Well, you can't focus on that. You have to keep the main thing the main thing, and when playing, you have to let your play on the field do the talking more so than with your mouth, and at the end of the day, your mouth don't really do anything, it's what you do on the field.

Q. How well did you get to know him (indiscernible)?
ROQUAN SMITH: It was great. He was a great guy, stand-up guy, first class, when I met him at the college football awards thing, and we didn't like -- tight, develop like a tight bond or anything, but we talked here and there and whatnot, and I think he's a great guy.

Q. Not having a tight bond, is that in part because you knew you were going to be facing off at that point?
ROQUAN SMITH: Well, no, it's always hard to develop a tight bond when you're with someone for maybe a couple hours out of the day for like one or two days. It's kind of hard to develop a tight bond in that short period of time.

Q. (Indiscernible) even though you're from a small town that you're a world traveler and that you can name any spot. You've been around?
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, I've been around a good bit, and then it was just something I used to always -- like early in the elementary school, I used to always -- we had this social studies book, and I used to always pull it out and look at places on the map and be like, I want to go there, I want to go there, and I started learning the map, and some of the places I've been. There's many other places I'd still like to go, but that's where that comes from.

Q. Where have you gone?
ROQUAN SMITH: I've been to a lot of countries like in Central America, South America, and all around the United States, but I'm trying to get over to like Spain and other places, the continent of Africa and whatnot.

Q. (Indiscernible).
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, Montezuma you'll have to zoom in a little bit, and especially for Marshallville you'll have to zoom in a whole lot more. Yeah, I guess that's just a part of it, small-town boy. There's many great places to eat down there, small town country foods and whatnot. We have like a Mennonite place, which is Yoder's and whatnot, and then we have some little like shack places that are pretty good, as well.

Q. What else is there to do?
ROQUAN SMITH: There's not much to do in Montezuma. You have, what, three traffic lights, three, four traffic lights, and that's about it, and then my -- uptown Marshallville, there's no traffic lights. It is what it is.

Q. How have you found time to travel? Most people that are football prospects, they focus on sports.
ROQUAN SMITH: Well, you have downtime. When you do have some downtime you have to take advantage of it, and you can't just limit yourself to, oh, I'm done with football, I'm just going to relax. Get out and do something, go experience something new. That's what I feel like.

Q. Are you not someone who plays a lot of video games?
ROQUAN SMITH: I don't play video games.

Q. When is the last time you traveled somewhere out of the country?
ROQUAN SMITH: Last time I traveled out of the country was -- it was actually last year on spring break.

Q. Where did you go?
ROQUAN SMITH: We just went to the Bahamas, me and my roommates.

Q. What's your favorite place that you've been?
ROQUAN SMITH: Every place I've been to thus far? Hmm, that's a great question. I would probably say -- I enjoyed Honduras, when I went to Honduras a couple years ago. I enjoyed being there and seeing people and just seeing some of the struggles and stuff that those people face day in and day out and thinking of how grateful we was and being able to help some of those people in ways that they can never replace.

Q. Did you go on a mission trip?
ROQUAN SMITH: No, I didn't. It was just going, me and my friends and whatnot.

Q. How did you pick Honduras to go to?
ROQUAN SMITH: Actually I went on a cruise on that one.

Q. You said you helped people there?
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, like you just stop by and whatnot, like you see someone on a corner, you just give them something and whatnot like that.

Q. What's your top three places you still want to go?
ROQUAN SMITH: I have to go somewhere in Spain, I have to go somewhere on the continent of Africa, and maybe somewhere like Australia somewhere, New Zealand, something like that.

Q. Do you speak any other languages?
ROQUAN SMITH: I try to speak English for the most part.

Q. (Indiscernible).
ROQUAN SMITH: No, that's not my focus. I'm just more so focused on this game with Oklahoma.

Q. A lot of people, your teammates have raved about how when they watch film with you, they can pick up on things. A lot of people don't know how to watch film correctly. How old were you when you started watching film? Were you young?
ROQUAN SMITH: I started watching film probably around -- I had a really good defensive coordinator in high school and whatnot and my head coach, so they used to say watch film, watch film. So I would probably say around like midway through my 10th grade year I started really honing in and watching a lot of film.

Q. And you seem like someone that really loves to learn and study; is that accurate?
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, I'm seeking knowledge, trying to get knowledge all throughout the day.

Q. Did you like it right away, and were you immediately able to pick up -- I know -- a lot of people struggle with that.
ROQUAN SMITH: Well, definitely. I'll give you an example. If me and this guy is about to fight or something and I can watch him and learn his moves and what he's going to do in some situation, like he gets in the corner, how he's going to try to get out and whatnot, and you'll definitely try to use that to the best of your advantage. So that's just like with watching film. You want to make sure you know what your opponent is doing because I feel like that's like half of the battle knowing what they're doing in certain situations and knowing their tendencies and whatnot.

Q. How old were you when you started traveling, and is your family world travelers?
ROQUAN SMITH: No, my family is not world travelers and whatnot, but I was probably 15 or 16, something like that.

Q. Who did you travel with?
ROQUAN SMITH: I went with my aunt actually, so we had went somewhere. I'm trying to think. Where did I go? I think I went like to Mexico or something like that.

Q. When you watch film, what kind of sticks out to you about Baker, and especially his scrambling?
ROQUAN SMITH: He's a phenomenal athlete and a phenomenal -- he can throw the ball and put the ball in locations that you don't see many guys can do while on the run, throwing off his back foot and whatnot. So it's pretty crazy, but a lot of things stand out, and like just how he can take over a game and what he can do in games, definitely.

Q. How have the coaches talked to you about when he does escape the pocket?
ROQUAN SMITH: You just have to have balance, balance and coordinated pass rush from our defensive line, outside linebackers and whatnot to try to keep the guy in the pocket because once he gets out of the pocket he can definitely make you pay for it.

Q. How much (indiscernible)?
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, I appreciate that. Yeah, that guy Stetson, he's phenomenal. He's probably a 4.5 guy and can throw the ball really good, and he's quick as a cat. He definitely gives a great look. He's been giving a great look all year long, so I definitely would say he's been preparing us for some of the games we've had to do, especially with like dual threats and whatnot as well as pocket passers because he can sit in the pocket and throw it, as well.

Q. How many people are in Montezuma?
ROQUAN SMITH: Ooh. The town, I would say Montezuma -- I don't know the population of Montezuma. I know the population of Marshallville is probably 1,400, 1,500 and whatnot, but it's pretty crazy thinking about it. It's a very small town. But there's definitely going to be a few people out, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them, and I'm sure they'll enjoy the game.

Q. How many people were in your graduating class?
ROQUAN SMITH: I would say 118.

Q. That's bigger than I thought.
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, it's like the biggest class in most recent years. Yeah, it was pretty awesome, though.

Q. Talking about your freshman year, how much did playing behind Jake help you?
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, just seeing the way Jake carried himself, he was a senior, I was a freshman, young bull coming in and whatnot, don't have much experience, don't really know how everything works, and just seeing a guy like that and just hanging out with a guy like that and being like, man, I love the way this guy carries himself and the way he goes about things on a daily basis, carries himself like a professional, that stuff stuck out to me, and I respect the crap out of that guy to this day because I learned a lot from behind him and just seeing how much he watched film and whatnot, and it was pretty crazy and just like seeing it all unfold right in front of my eyes, so I'm very thankful that the guy was here my freshman year.

Q. He says that he was more like starting ahead of you for his senior year.
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, definitely. He definitely did that. He learned a lot, behind him and just seeing the way he did things, so I definitely think that helped me a lot and helped mold me into the player I am today.

Q. When football is over for you, what do you think you want to do? It sounds like you want to travel the world, have a job where you travel the world?
ROQUAN SMITH: Well, no, I'll definitely get a job. I'll have a job or whatever, but more so I will definitely travel a good bit, but I'm not 100 percent sure what I want to do when ball is over, but I do know I would like to travel sometimes.

Q. When you say you're constantly seeking knowledge, is that on and off the field? Do you travel because you want to learn about other cultures?
ROQUAN SMITH: Well, I definitely do that, but I would just say like obtaining knowledge in anything, just really anything you can -- like literally anything.

Q. What else are you really interested in besides traveling and football?
ROQUAN SMITH: I love meeting new people, just -- like I'm a food fanatic, so I love trying new foods and whatnot. I'm just an all-around type guy.

Q. When you travel you're willing to eat in the hole-in-the-wall places and try the local stuff? What's the craziest thing you've ever eaten while out of the country?
ROQUAN SMITH: Ooh, I just developed this food thing, so I haven't like -- I haven't eaten anything like that crazy, so like going out of the country I haven't because I'm pretty scared sometimes. I don't want to get too sick or anything.

Q. Have you had anything crazy here in California?
ROQUAN SMITH: No, I haven't had anything crazy in California.

Q. In your mind what is the SEC football culture?
ROQUAN SMITH: I would say just the SEC is just a very physical league, very physical league. You're bruised up each and every week and just trying to come out and just trying to get out of a week, and the standards will be pretty good from my understanding playing in the SEC. It's an awesome conference, and the Big 12 is an awesome conference, as well, but I'm looking forward to the match-up. It'll be a little different, something we haven't seen all year, and I'm sure it's something they haven't seen, as well.

Q. That's my point. Have you played an offense like this?
ROQUAN SMITH: No, I haven't played an offense like this with the weapons they have and whatnot. That's why I think it'll be a really good challenge for our defense, and we're beyond excited about it.

Q. Was there anything in particular appealing to you about the SEC? Someone else said that earlier today, one of your teammates.
ROQUAN SMITH: Definitely. You love tough things. Everything in life, I just feel like if you want something, you have to really work for it, and when you work for it, it means a little more to you, when you earn something. That's always big. We know it'll be a grind, but we're looking forward to it. We wouldn't rather for it to be any other way.

Q. Did you notice that Oklahoma won a game this year 62-53?
ROQUAN SMITH: Yeah, I definitely did see that. That was a shootout. Thinking back at it, with Mason Rudolph, that guy, he's a phenomenal player, as well, and the numbers that the Oklahoma offense put up, so it was pretty insane.

Q. Can you ever imagine Georgia being involved in a game like that?
ROQUAN SMITH: I don't think that. We don't -- no, not a shootout. That's just completely -- they have a great offense and whatnot, but we have a great defense. That would just be completely disrespecting --

Q. (Indiscernible).
ROQUAN SMITH: I don't think I'll see that in my -- like not -- yeah, I don't think I'll see that, a shootout like that.

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