Former KU safety Fish Smithson makes a pick, reveals secret behind his name
Sunday proved the biggest day to date in former Kansas safety Fish Smithton’s budding professional career.
An undrafted rookie trying to make Washington’s roster, Smithson came up with his first highlight play of the NFL’s preseason, intercepting a pass on national television during the fourth quarter against Cincinnati.
Smithson returned the pick 63 yards in what became the Redskins’ first win of the exhibition schedule.
The 5-foot-11, 196-pound NFL hopeful was feeling so good afterward, he even finally revealed the origin of his nickname-turned-given-name. You may remember that Smithson was born Anthony but hasn’t gone by that in years. During a post-game interview with CSN Mid-Atlantic Sunday, Smithson divulged the secret of how he became Fish.
As he has alluded to before, Smithson said his grandmother made the name stick when he was a boy. It turns out she called him Fish because, at the time, he was scared of the limbless, water-dwelling creatures.
"I used to go fishing with my grandfather a lot when I was younger and he used to reel them into the boat and I always used to run from it,” Smithson said.
The young defensive back has since conquered his ichthyophobia, but also made another confession: he can’t swim.
In three preseason games, Smithson has four solo tackles (six total) and one interception.
Smithson and countless other players around the league will learn what the next several months will look like for them later this week, when NFL teams must trim their rosters to 53 players.