Checking in from Colts camp: Uncle Robert has “new motivation”

Clemson safety Robert Smith (27) makes the interception. ¬ The Clemson Tigers played host to the Syracuse Orange at Memorial Stadium in Clemson Saturday, October 25, 2014. Gwinn Davis / Special to the Post and Courier

CLEMSON – Why does anybody do what they do every day? In many cases, it’s all about the people at home.

While former Woodland/Clemson product and current Indianapolis Colts safety Robert Smith labors away a few weeks into his pro career – the grind of OTAs continues – he received some good news back home to help him find a second wind.

Smith’s sister gave birth to baby boy Cameron in Summerville on May 28, making Smith a first-time uncle of eight days. Smith’s making it his personal mission to become a role model, which in part would mean lasting as long as he can in the NFL.

Smith checked in with The Post and Courier Wednesday afternoon. Here is a link to his previous update.

“I haven’t physically seen him yet, but I’ve FaceTimed with him, I’ve seen pictures of him. Every day, I put him on my Mac laptop, he’s my screensaver, and the picture on my phone. This is new motivation. I just want him to have an uncle he can be proud of, someone he can look up to, because I know how important as a kid it is to have something to look forward to in life.

“It’s like Coach (Chuck) Pagano talked about today: as a kid, everybody has that one special person you always idolize, so be that person. People like Barry Sanders, Walter Payton. And I want to be that person for (my nephew) when he gets older. I want to be the guy he can model himself after as a man, as a player, everything in a positive way. Learn from the mistakes I do make.

“A day hasn’t passed that I haven’t looked at his picture and thought, ‘this is something special. This is going to help me along the way.’ You don’t realize something like that will help you until somebody tells you you’re a uncle for the first time.

“For a baby to come out 9 pounds, 2 ounces, his future’s looking bright so far. Hopefully he’ll continue to grow. If he chooses to play a sport, then me plus my family will be there for him. If he decides to do something else, we’ll still have his back. I want him to play baseball (laughs.) We’ll see how that goes. It’s real exciting to have a new member of our family now here.

“I’ll be going home June 18, so I’m pretty sure I’ll see him when I get home. It will be exciting. That’s something to look forward to. Like I said, that’s even more push and more drive for me now. I can’t explain it – it’s like a new fire right through my blood. Just like Peyton Manning’s favorite player was his dad, I want him to be able to say, ‘I want to be just like my uncle when I grow up.’”