Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/6/12

Michigan Stadium was home to one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

In September of 2007, Appalachian State snuck into the huge, intimidating venue and marched out with a 34-32 victory over the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines.

D.J. Smith was a freshman reserve weak-side linebacker on that team.

Soon after he would take over as the starter and begin setting records.

He had an astonishing 525 tackles in his college career. Four years later he was drafted in the sixth round by the Green Bay Packers.

Smith, now a 5-11, 239-pound middle linebacker is preparing to line up as the starter against San Francisco this Sunday.

The Packers think so highly of the ball-hawker that he will be the middle linebacker who stays on the field during passing downs.

This opportunity was afforded to him due to the probable season ending-injury to Desmond Bishop.

I do not see Smith as just a stop gap kind of player. He is active, instinctive and loves to hit.

Playing near Clay Mathews and against Patrick Willis, arguably the best middle linebacker in football, is where Smith will be this Sunday. I predict that he will not be outclassed.

The knock on Smith coming out in the 2011 Draft was that he was to short, had short arms and faced weak competition. General manager Ted Thompson looked past the experts as he often does and took a chance on him.

Over a four-game stretch last season the young defender recorded 39 tackles. That is just a glimpse of what I expect to see this season. I am expecting a new star to be born.

Beginning this weekend the rest of the sports world will start to see it and they will begin to realise what I have known for years.

My GM is smarter than your GM.



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