Florida A&M University football star, Xavier Smith, is on the road to a promising future. Not only is he flourishing academically, but he is also the starting wide receiver for FAMU football.
Smith, a Haines City native, received his undergraduate degree in health, leisure, and fitness studios, and is now pursuing his graduate degree in interdisciplinary studies. Being a third-generation rattler, Smith knew long ago that he wanted to be a part of everything FAMU had to offer, including wearing that citrus orange and agricultural green on the football field.
“Ever since I could remember, I always envisioned myself playing football and scoring touchdowns in front of large crowds,” Smith said. “Success was waiting for me at my doorstep, I just had to pick up the pieces.”
Things started off rocky for this student-athlete. His freshmen year began on the scout team, watching the games from the stands. Once he was finally able to pick up a helmet, he had a shoulder injury, tearing a ligament in his thumb which required surgery. Smith started to feel discouraged, but he didn’t let that stop him from pursuing his dreams.
“It’s not how you start, but how you finish,” Smith said. “With one goal in mind of being the best, I couldn’t stop now.”
With that mindset he took off, becoming one of FAMU’s greatest players and the National Football League’s top prospect. Smith never let the fear of striking out hinder him from his success. Every day, he shows the love he has for football and where hard work can take him.
Smith wears jersey number 19 and is arguably one of the best athletes in HBCU football. He ranked 21st in the nation and 3rd in SWAC in receptions per game with a 5.8.
The statistics can speak for themselves and when asked where he gets his inspiration, he gave a special shoutout to his mother.
“My mom motivates me the most,” Smith said. “We have been through some very tough times throughout our lives, but I’ve never seen her give up on me or my brother. One day, I want to be able to take care of her for the rest of her life. She’s sacrificed a lot and I’m beyond grateful.”
Smith also wanted to follow his brother’s footsteps, Kareem Smith, who started playing football for the rattlers in 2014, wearing that same jersey number. FAMU Alumni, Kareem, said that he is proud of Xavier and knows that he has the game of football on lock.
“Seeing my brother chase his dream gives me a breath of fresh air,” he said. “I always knew he would be something special because of his dedication.”
Smith’s mother, Angenetta Sanchious, said that she is a proud mom and gives all her glory to the man upstairs.
“Never in a million years could my finite mind imagine that I would have two sons attending FAMU and their names are being recorded in the record books and making FAMU history,” she said. “My Twin Towers give me daily strength, and to see Xavier where he is now is a dream come true.”
Smith’s ultimate goal is to have a successful career playing for the NFL and from the looks of it, he is not too far from that goal.