Chiefs starting right guard Trey Smith recently shared his love for Kansas City and his family on former Chiefs lineman Kahlil McKenzie’s podcast, “For the Record.”
How his hometown of Jackson, Tennessee and the loss of his mother shaped who Smith is today
Growing up in “humble beginnings and in a Christian-oriented household” created a foundation that still guides Smith in life to this day.
“So for me growing up, I was once again [in a] a very Christian-focused household, like my grandfather was a preacher [and] my grandmother on my dad’s side was very active in the church as well, so for us family was everything [and was] extremely important,” Smith explained to McKenzie. “We had great values, [we] showed respect to everyone you know, treat others the way you want to be treated you know, the basic rules that everyone should just follow.”
The hardships that Smith has had to overcome in his life — from losing his mother as a teen to developing blood clots that could have ended his NFL career before it began — filled him with gratitude and reaffirmed his faith.
“I would just say my life has been molded through experiences and just hardships. When I was 15 my mom died, having to deal with that,” shared Smith. “Having to find the right college, right University to go to, found Tennessee had a good year, hit with blood clots and that affected my health, so I feel like time and time again I’d get tested, you know you get gut tested, you get gut checked.”
Going back to his roots and putting his faith at the forefront of everything he does helped him stay on solid ground during difficult moments in his life.
“For me, its just like I always had to go back to my roots, man,” recalled Smith. “Trusting and believing in God allowing him to guide my path you know and then just staying true to the values, man. Staying humble, giving everyone respect, showing love anytime I meet anybody new.”
From “never winning anything” to winning a Super Bowl
Smith has had the opportunity to not only play in but also win a Super Bowl with the Chiefs — but winning was not always the result throughout his football career beginning as early as middle school.
“Going to the Chiefs this past year, being able to play in that organization and being able to sort of see that championship culture,” said Smith. “So when I first got there, obviously the first year, we didn’t win it. This past year we did. But you know, listen to EB (former offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy), like, I remember, one of the first days we get there, he talks about the championship standard and our ultimate goals: Win the AFC, get home field advantage, go win the Super Bowl.”
Smith has been an anchor on the offensive line from Day 1 of his young career with the Chiefs.
“Hearing those things, talking about it, and then bringing it to fruition where it’s like, ‘OK, no matter what happens, we have the same goal, same focus in mind that we’re trying to get to,” recounted Smith. “It was so cool seeing all that like come together, being able to win the Super Bowl. It’s like, dude, in all my years of sports, I’ve never won a championship. And I would always tell my friends, I’m like, ‘Yeah, man, I’ve been playing all this time. I haven’t won anything. Not middle school, like I hadn’t won a thing. So like to get a Super Bowl, man. It was like it all came together, and being able to see my family, my pops, my sister, my girl, you know? It was awesome.”
What Smith wishes people knew about him outside of football
Smith is an avid fan of anime (which he also discussed with McKenzie) but also has an artistic side to him that fans might not know about.
“It’s weird I guess, I could sort of be like an artist sometimes where it’s like drawing, painting anything of that nature,” explained Smith. “Just a respect for the Arts you know, even like acting just anything in that whole space and realm, I’ve always been so sports focused sports focused it’s just like there’s more to myself yeah I mean so I think that’s probably the biggest thing I’m trying to figure out now you know early my career now where I’m where I’m at it’s like how can I sort of let that side of me you know come out how can I express myself a little bit better and just put myself out there more as well.”
How much of a perfect location fit Kansas City is for Smith
Smith is very complimentary of his newfound home of Kansas City, and both he and McKenzie give a special shout-out to Lee’s Summit and its community.
“Honestly. [Kansas City is] a perfect fit, it’s not too big it’s where like it’s almost overwhelming I can get away, I can have a little country spots [like in] Lee’s Summit, you know about Lee’s Summit,” said Smith to McKenzie. “It’s like it was perfect, the food’s there is great I’m a people person so like my interactions matter on a [day] to day basis, like if I walk in a gas station I open the door I want to thank you, you know or like you know just saying what’s up to people on the street. The people very nice, they’re courteous but like I love Kansas City man, and I think I couldn’t have landed in a better spot especially early in my career to develop.”
Smith on the promise he made to his mother before her passing of getting his degree
Before his mother passed, Smith made two meaningful promises to her — first, he would get his college degree, and second, he would play in the NFL.
Smith talked with McKenzie about what keeping both of those promises meant to him.
“The degree was one of the biggest promises I made, so my mom got sick when I was 15, like I remember one of the last times I was able to actually visit with her, at her bedside I told her you know one, I’m [going to] get my degree because you know my whole life and — you know my sister she can tell you the exact same thing as well - we were a very educationally focused family.
Smith went on to say that he has always placed significant importance on education, even as a kid.
”For me, you always put education first — an emphasis on that ever since I was a kid,” he recalled. “So I was like man I’m [going to] get my degree. That’s why I came to college. I’m [going to] finish that out and then the second thing, is I told I was [going to] play in the NFL, so for me it was a matter of like upholding those two things because that was a promise I made to her [and] I never saw her again.
“I always want to live my life in a way that she would be really just pleased with you - so for me I remember even like going back for my senior year, like that was a big deciding factor for me so I just want to go ahead and get my degree go ahead and finish that out…that was really one of the utmost things I wanted to get accomplished.”