Sports Spotlight: MSU'S Len Smith Chose To Play A Different Sport Than His NFL Dad

- Two months ago to the day.....September 20th, was the last time the Midwestern State soccer team lost on the soccer pitch.
That is a span of 13 matches.
One of the big reasons for the mustangs hot streak is junior forward Len Smith.
He leads the team in goals.
Its not a big surprise considering his athletic pedigree.
His dad, Leonard Smith was a star in the NFL as a defensive back for the Cardinals and the Bills for 9 seasons.
Now his son is a big time player of Midwestern State in this version of futbol, in America it is called soccer.
So the big question........why not follow in dad's footsteps?
"He wanted me to have my health when I got older. He always pushed me to play soccer. As well so with his support and everything it helped out," said MSU junior forward Len Smith.
At 6-2 and 190 pounds, his size would be perfect for the gridiron.
But on the soccer pitch, Midwestern State men's head soccer coach Doug Elder says it is just as effective.
"Lenny is a big kid but his dad is huge. But he decided to play soccer. He is good. He uses his body well. When he plays hard and plays physical he is a threat," said Elder.
When it all comes down to it, besides the equipment and the type of ball that is used there isn't much difference between what dad played and what son plays.
"They both have competitive aspects. Which is why I enjoy it. I am out here taking hits and giving hits. So it does have a lot of similarities. It is a lot of running you have stay fit. But it is all the competitive nature,"said Smith.
Smith's college career started at the University of Tulsa in 2011.
Len says things didn't work out there.
After looking at other schools, he found a home at Midwestern State.
"I came out here on a visit. I saw all of the tradition. And the family style out here. You cant get anything better than this," said Smith.
It is a good thing for the Mustangs that Smith came here.
Last season, he lead the team in goals with 10, that got him Lone Star Conference newcomer of the year and all conference and region honors.
This season, he's picked up where he left off, leading the team in goals with 8.
All part of the Mustangs run after a rough 1-3 start to a spot in the NCAA Division II Sweet 16.
In the end both Smiths are happy for the success of the soccer playing Smith.
"Playing football in this case futbol. I am happy I am enjoying it. It is where I want to be. Sweet 16. it is exciting," said Smith.

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