Smith is a Mesa, Arizona, native who spent his first three years with San José State. Smith led the Spartans in both tackles for loss (9.5) and sacks (6.5) last year in his first season as a starter. Smith also tallied four quarterback hits and a forced fumble in his career year. San José State's top two pass rushers — Toia being the other — will be finding new homes in 2024.
While it's a tough loss for San José State, it would fill a crucial position of need for Arizona at defensive end following Upshaw's declaration for the 2024 NFL Draft. Though he may not be the guaranteed starter, he would undoubtedly give Ta'ita'i Uiagalelei a run for his money and the starting job would be his for the taking. Either way, Smith would certainly see the field as a part of a now-thin defensive line room.