As the craziness that is the buildup to the NFL Draft continues, one Western New York native is hoping that a blend of his elite athleticism, his ability on the field, and his mind will help him realize his NFL dreams.
It was the athleticism — and most notably — the jumping, that really started to get scouts buzzing about Andy Smigiera.
The 22-year-old native of West Seneca spent his high school career playing quarterback at West Seneca East High School, and then accepted an offer to play his college football at Robert Morris University, but with one catch — he’d transition to defense, and play safety for them.
Hitting the field early on in his college career, Smigiera kept working at his craft all the way through his senior year, and now, he’s in position to get a look from the NFL.
It was during a pro day at Slippery Rock when Smigiera raised the eyebrows of everyone in attendance. His vertical jump was 42-inches — half-an-inch better than the top jump of any player at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
“It’s all a culmination of my 22-year-old life into the one jump,” the 6-foot-1 and 205-pound Smigiera said. “I don’t know, I just went up there and jumped. You have to trust your training, and, it worked.”
He backed up the vertical jump with a broad jump of 11-feet and one-inch, and then a 4.46 40-yard dash. He would have placed among the top performers at the Combine in all three categories, had he been invited.
Smigiera’s mind is also a big-time asset to him, using an analytical approach to break down film with coaches — trying to gain an edge wherever he can. At Robert Morris, Smigiera graduated with a dual degree in accounting and finance, has 150 credits toward his CPA, and also is just one series shy of being able to become a financial advisor.
Even with the impressive school résumé, Smigiera hopes that the NFL will happen for him, and is keeping himself ready all throughout by working out in Buffalo six days a week with some combination of trainers, current NFL players, and CFL players as well.
With the draft under one month away, the West Seneca native hopes to hear his name called, or to get a call from a team shortly thereafter as a priority free agent.
“I mean, if you told me 5 years ago I’d be in this position, I’d be pretty shocked,” he said. “If I get the call, that’s great. I’m still going to be working out, so, I just kind of take it day-by-day. We’ll see what happens.”
Be sure to watch Andy’s full story, including video of his incredible leaping ability, atop the page.