The Redskins signed a player named Fish Smithson on Thursday. Sure, this blog could've started out with a fancier opening paragraph that delivered that news in a more graceful or clever way, but when dealing with a matter as important as this, it's best to be straightforward.
How good is that name? When looking at the list of undrafted free agents that Washington added to their roster, Smithson's (despite looking like a name that a celebrity would use at a hotel to go undetected) easily overshadowed the rest.
Yes, it's rare to see an entire post devoted to a rookie free agent and everything there is to know about him. But then again, it's also rare for a team to sign a player who goes by FISH. So let's get to know the dude.
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Is his first name actually Fish?
Unfortunately, no. His first name is Anthony. But, according to his bio on Kansas Football's website, he "prefers to go by Fish," and the fact that the Redskins list him as Fish on their roster shows that it basically is his first name nowadays.
🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟 https://t.co/8Po1ucUJ6w— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 4, 2017
Now, whether there's a cool story about him learning how to take proper angles on the football field by first catching fish in a river and that's how the name came to be, or one day he was just like, "You know what? I don't like the name Anthony anymore. Just call me Fish," isn't known at this time. Hopefully it will be soon, though.
What's he like as a player?
Smithson played one year at Hartnell College and then three years at Kansas, and he was a very productive safety once he got to the Big 12. In his last two seasons, Smithson led the Jayhawks in tackles (while topping the entire nation in solo tackles per game in 2015, too) and earned a spot on All-Big 12 teams as a junior and senior. He also had six interceptions across the second half of his collegiate career.
"Smithson is a little smaller and a little slower than teams might like at the safety spot, but his instincts and overall football intelligence make up for some of his physical limitations," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein said of the defender in his pre-draft profile. "Smithson has shown that he has the ball skills to pair with his instinctive nature, but his issues finishing tackles will not be taken lightly by NFL teams. Smithson has NFL backup potential."
What connections does he have to guys currently in the NFL?
There's this highlight video, which shows Smithson picking off new Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, as well as running away from Redskins wideout Josh Doctson on another interception return. USA Today, meanwhile, has photos of him trying to tackle Bengals draft pick Joe Mixon as well as Redskins fourth-rounder Samaje Perine.
Then there's this tweet from Broncos corner and former Kansas star Aqib Talib congratulating Smithson on finding a place in the league:
It's clear he played against some very good talent in the Big 12, so the jump to the NFL shouldn't be as difficult for him compared to other undrafted guys.
And, finally, there's no way any of his siblings have a name that can even come close to matching Fish, right? Because that would be shocking.
You'd think so, wouldn't you? But as it turns out, Fish's brother, a former Utah receiver, goes by Shaky. If there's ever a "Which pair of brothers has the best combination of names on Earth?" competition, good luck to whoever gets matched up with the Smithsons.