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Mazi Smith hopes to break through in 2022

On the cusp of the 2022 college football season, Michigan defensive tackle and East Kentwood graduate Mazi Smith has some big goals.

INDIANAPOLIS — On the cusp of the 2022 college football season, Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith has some big goals.

“I think anything can happen,” Smith said. “The sky is the limit.”

Smith graduated from East Kentwood High School back in 2019, and a lot has changed since he left Grand Rapids for Ann Arbor. For one, Smith removed his signature goggles he wore in high school.

“I used to wear goggles strapped to my head,” Smith said. “Took that off. Slimmed down. Put on some muscle, man. Just got better a football and better at being a man.”

Smith came to Michigan as a 17-year-old kid, and now he's a 21-year-old man who has garnered a lot of respect.

“I want to hear what he says,” Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I want to hear what he thinks about things. He’s real deep. He’s just a real cool guy, and he’s a great football player and everyone recognizes that.”

Smith’s teammates recognize the big man will play a huge role on the Wolverine defense in 2022

“[He’s] dominant,” Michigan cornerback DJ Turner said. “A monster. A wall.”

Smith has earned Big Ten Honorable Mention honors in 2021 with 2.5 tackles for loss. He hopes more is on the horizon for himself in 2022.

“I think some of it is up to God,” Smith said. “I think I held up my end of the bargain. I’m going to let Him take care of the rest.”

Smith also can’t thank Michigan enough for taking care of him. 

“I’ve just really grown a lot in Michigan,” Smith said. “I’m not there yet, but I feel like when the time comes, I will be prepared for the real world. I’ll be prepared for the next level. Whatever life has in store for me.”

Smith and the Michigan Wolverines kick off the college football season at home on Sept. 3 against Colorado State.

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