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Florida State's Telvin Smith says he wants to stay at LB in NFL

Linebacker Telvin Smith led national champion Florida State with 90 tackles -- 21 more than any teammate -- and measured in at almost 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds at the Reese's Senior Bowl. But if some analysts have their way, Smith would be a safety at the next level.

Smith prefers to stay at linebacker, he told on Saturday, when he was in town for the Seminoles' national championship celebration.

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Smith is training in Miami to prepare for the combine and pre-draft workouts, but he decided to attend the ceremony rather than train over the weekend. Fellow linebacker Christian Jones made the same decision. Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and safety Terrence Brooks didn't attend, opting to continue to train.

"We put a lot of work into what we did this season, and it wouldn't have been right not to come back and show love to everybody who gave us that same love during the season," Smith said.

Smith also said he is tired of hearing he is too small to play linebacker at the next level. There are some who feel he could be a big-time safety. But Smith wants to be a linebacker and is focused on gaining weight.

"A normal day is 6:30 waking up, eating, workout, eating, speed training, eating, snack, eating," he said. "A lot of eating going on, that's about it."

Smith played well in the Senior Bowl, finishing with five tackles and adding a half-tackle for loss.

Smith was a full-time starter for the first time this season and has played both inside and outside linebacker. He has good speed and instincts, and had 30 tackles for loss in his career. While some analysts think he would be a good safety, there are others who think he has the potential to be a three-down outside linebacker in the NFL, though his lack of bulk could be troublesome against power running teams and almost certainly will preclude him from playing inside in the NFL.

"Any guy that makes plays on the field, they're going to find a way to get him," Smith said. "That's what I hope they do with me."

Smith's playmaking ability should be a huge selling point, and if he can get to around 225 pounds without losing any quickness, he likely will stay at linebacker. His pre-draft workouts are going to be intriguing, as there will be teams who project him as a safety.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.


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