We know one thing about Harrison Smith: He doesn’t back down. This was illustrated in practice Wednesday when the rookie safety tangled with Percy Harvin. Per 1500ESPN, Smith gave Harvin a good pop after a pass reception and continued to tussle with the receiver as he proceeded upfield. The over-sensitive Harvin took offense at Smith’s persistence and appeared to want to throw the ball at him, but settled for getting in Smith’s face. To his credit, the rookie stood right there and yelled back at Harvin, who ultimately skulked off in the company of a Vikings media relations official.
“It’s the game of football,” Smith said afterward. “It’s not a passive sport. It’s an aggressive sport played by aggressive people, so that stuff happens.”
Percy had no comment on the dust-up. Of course this was not an important event in the grand scheme of things – tussles happen in training camp – but it does at least give us a small glimpse into the character of Harrison Smith, a rookie we know almost nothing about. Here’s what we know now: he’s got some grit and feistiness to him. Percy Harvin can get pretty crazy, plus he’s an established veteran in this case going up against a rookie who hasn’t proven a damn thing. It’s fairly impressive that Smith would stand up to him the way he did. I’m sure his defensive teammates were watching and they probably now have a lot more respect for Smith than they did before.
Will Harrison Smith prove to be a good football player? Only time will tell. He either has the skills to play safety at a high level in the NFL or he doesn’t. We do know one thing: he’s not going to be intimidated.