Seahawks’ Kevin Smith explains journey from FedEx to the NFL

Dec 3, 2015, 11:37 AM | Updated: 2:25 pm
Kevin Smith made the first reception of his NFL career in Sunday’s 39-30 win over Pittsburgh....
Kevin Smith made the first reception of his NFL career in Sunday's 39-30 win over Pittsburgh. (AP)

Kevin Smith collected the first reception of his NFL career in Sunday’s 39-30 win over Pittsburgh. It was a long way from the kind of receptions he was making last season while working at FedEx in Los Angeles.

“Get up at 3 a.m. and work until about 8 a.m., loading and unloading trucks,” Smith told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Danny, Dave and Moore.” “Yeah, that’s where I was last year around this time.”

The University of Washington product has been elevated to the active roster for the past two games, catching a 21-yard pass in the second quarter against the Steelers and being the target of a fade route on a two-point conversion. Smith came down with that catch, too, but couldn’t get his feet in bounds.

Smith was cut three times in 2014, including by the Seahawks in August. So from the end of October through offseason workouts in April, Smith said he tried to keep a positive mindset and be patient while lifting more than 3,000 boxes at FedEx, many of which were 65-inch TVs being shipped for Christmas. He looked at the manual labor as training.

“I’m getting a cool little lift in, and I’m getting a little sweat in here and there,” he said. “I kind of looked at it as my workout sometimes.”

Smith said he signed with the Los Angeles Kiss of the Arena Football League before getting notice that the Seahawks wanted to bring him back this offseason.

“I was waiting for that (arena league) to start and that was something I was going to feed off of,” he said. “And Canadian league (CFL), I was trying to get in there, but nothing really happening at the time, but then the Seahawks came back and picked me up.”

After excelling during the 2015 preseason, Seattle stashed Smith on the practice squad, along with fellow wide receiver and former UW teammate Kasen Williams. Smith knows the process his Husky brother is currently going through as a member of the practice squad.

“He can’t control whatever decisions are made around here, so I know he’s working hard to get to that spot, too,” he said.

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