Dear Geno Smith, Welcome to the spotlight…

West Virginia Quarterback Geno Smith on Draft Night (Photo: Michael LeBrecht/SI)

West Virginia Quarterback Geno Smith on Draft Night
(Photo: Michael LeBrecht/SI)

Dear Geno Smith,

I feel for you, honey.

It’s NFL draft night. You worked your whole life to get here. Everyone tells you you’re one of the top picks. You’re here, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City…so you can walk across that stage, wear the hat, hug the commissioner, and hold your new jersey up for the whole football world to see.

The clock starts to tick away…and so does the night. And pretty soon, you’re ticked off. And all the while, the cameras are in your face. The spotlight is bright. Even blinding. It’s getting hot. You start to sweat.

Four words of advice…get used to it. Because someday soon, you’ll be on a bench, the second or third string quarterback. Your team is losing. The starter is struggling. And the coach won’t put you in. And it’s all happening under the cameras and bright lights of the National Football League. And those lights make the draft night lights look dim.

Welcome to the spotlight. It’s your time to shine. But it can also burn your eyes…and if you’re not careful, your soul.

In the meantime, work on your football skills. And your acting skills. And surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth. Even if it’s not what you want to hear.

Best of luck!

XO

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