Going back to FedEx Field on Sunday will bring back fond memories for Ravens receiver Torrey Smith.
When he first went to an NFL game, it was there as a high school standout in nearby Stafford County.
Smith attended games there twice to be exact. He saw Terrell Owens and Brett Favre, and he had two unforgettable encounters with Redskins greats. One was the late Sean Taylor, who was incredibly cordial. The other was retired Super Bowl champion quarterback Joe Theismann, who was, well, being Theismann.
"I asked for an autograph and he told me, ‘No.' Kept walking. I remember that, too," Smith said emphatically, then added a dose of sarcasm. "I can’t wait to meet him."
Smith, who was a sophomore in nearby Stafford County and just starting to be recruited by major Division I programs, met Taylor by chance.
"I lucked up. We were walking through the parking lot to get to the car and we walked past the players. He spent probably five minutes just chatting with us. It was pretty cool," said Smith, who attended University of Maryland and blossomed into a 2011 second-round draft pick. "It’s something I’ll never forget."
In his sophomore NFL season, Smith is Baltimore’s big-play threat. He has 42 receptions for 732 yards and 7 touchdowns. He averages 17.4 yards per catch, but he’ll have family with mixed rooting interests.
"Growing up I never was really a fan of the ‘Skins or Cowboys or anyone. I just liked the game," Smith said. "That’s my home team. … I got a lot of text messages, ‘We’re gonna beat yall down’ and ‘Y’all aint ready.’ It’s all fun. I’m looking forward to it. Everybody’s excited about it. … To have the opportunity to play in the same stadium (where he saw his first NFL game), that’s pretty cool."