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The Ravens’ first two 2011 draft picks, cornerback Jimmy Smith and wide receiver Torrey Smith, already have a bond.
Not only do they have the same last name, but during a Saturday press conference it was revealed they also share the same first name, James. Two James Smiths.
But their connection was truly shown when Torrey stuck up for Jimmy’s character, which has been the source of much consternation in the media during the scouting process.
First Jimmy was asked what he wants fans to know about him.
“I want people to know that I don’t have any character issues,” he said. “I made bad decisions when I was a young kid, just like most Americans. I don’t want them to think that I’m going to come in here and try to make this organization look bad. These two gentlemen [Head Coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Ozzie Newsome] are putting their necks on the line for me, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure they look good at all times, as well as me, myself and my whole family.”
A reporter began asking Torrey a question about a different topic, but the wideout politely stopped him. He had something he wanted to say.
“Going off what he said, I’ve had an opportunity to know Jimmy myself,” Torrey said. “He’s a great guy. The way the media tries to portray him, I feel like that’s not him. He’s a great guy, he’s down to earth. Like he said, his things are in the past so I feel like people should focus more so on what he’s going to do from this day forward.”
Harbaugh looked at his new wide receiver and nodded with approval. Torrey has been billed as having excellent character, and it was just further proof.
Smith later told BR.com, “I’ll vouch for him any day of the week. We’re here for each other. We’re friends, we’re teammates now. We’ve got to look out for each other.”
The Smiths got to know each other when they came to Baltimore at the same time for visits to the Ravens’ Owings Mills, Md., facility. They roomed with each other and spoke for a few hours about football and other topics.
“That was great,” Jimmy said of Torrey sticking up for him. “Already a strong teammate. I appreciate it because we got to talk a lot. He got to know me and I got to know him. I didn’t know he was going to say it, but I know I appreciated it.”
While it’s all friendly now, the prospects are also looking forward to matching up against each other on the field.
“We’ll definitely have some fun,” Torrey said with a smile. “I feel like they brought us in both to help make an impact and we’re going to push each other to help us be the best players we can be.”