Then in the next breath, he says, "I thank God that I was the third pick in the draft in 1999."
The Cincinnati Bengals chose Smith and gave him a signing bonus of nearly 11 million dollars. But right away, Smith struggled and started to listen to the negative talk. "It was bad," Smith said remembering back 10 years ago. "I wouldn't wish that on nobody."
Instead of working with his new team during the off-season, Smith says he would return to his hometown of San Diego, which he admits led to his downfall.
"You get so much negative press and stuff like that in Cincinnati that I ran away from it," Smith said. "The only way that I could cope with it at the time was to drink and party and do all of those things. In the end, it ended up burning me".
Smith spent four seasons with the Bengals and had several failed tryouts with other teams. In 2007, the Lincoln High School graduate retired from pro ball and then made good on his promise to his former position coach at Grossmont College.
"He always said, when he left here and went to Oregon, 'When I'm done playing, Coach, I'm gonna come coach with you," said Grossmont College head coach Michael Jordan who served as Smith's position coach in 1995 and 96. "I said 'yeah, sure, sounds good now. But you'll be off making millions of dollars.' I would love to have him back but I didn't think it would happen."
But it happened last year, when Smith came on as a volunteer to coach the Griffins quarterbacks and his players couldn't be more excited.
"It's the best thing that could have happened to me," said quarterback Brandon Fricke. "That's my goal one day to play in the NFL. He definitely looks like he can still play. He can definitely throw the ball with the best of 'em and he definitely has not lost a step."
At 34 years of age, Smith does still play. He quarterbacked his Flag Football team to a championship this past summer. And he frequently thinks about what could have been.
"Always. Always," Smith said. "If I could have just stayed in Cincinnati and just focused and didn't come back to San Diego. Even if I did come back to San Diego I should have been spending more time doing this, working with the kids and the Pop warner kids and I didn't do that because I didn't know how to cope with the negative press and all those things I was dealing with." Now married with four kids, Smith plans to return to the University of Oregon to get his degree and hopes to one day become an offensive coordinator in college or the NFL - and show that he's not a bust after all.