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Smith II, Carroll II Honor Their Fathers

Posted Jun 15, 2014

When the Eagles' first-round pick arrived at the NovaCare Complex for the first time as an Eagle, he had plenty to be excited about: starting his NFL career, playing for an exciting, young Eagles team that coveted him, the opportunity to make an immediate impact on a playoff team, even the lucrative nature of being a first-round pick. And yet, one of the first questions Marcus Smith II asked to the Eagles staff upon his arrival was about a subtle gesture of thanks to his father.

So now, when Smith roams the practice field and when he hits Lincoln Financial Field this season, his jersey will read "Smith II" for the first time in his playing career.

"I've been the second my whole life, it's always been on my birth certificate and in high school I never got to have anything on the back of my jersey," Smith II said. "In middle school, never. Even in Pop Warner, I never had Smith II in there, and I just wanted to be able to show all the hard work that my pops put in for me to get this far. I just wanted to be able to show his name and make it known that I'm Smith II from him."

With the Smiths, the football doesn't fall too far from the tree. Athletically, and in his work ethic, Smith II takes after his father.

"They said my pops was the fastest guy in the city," Smith II said. "I don't know if I believe that now, but yeah, he's pretty big. He's a lot bigger than me. He's ripped up. He's 6-2, I'm like an inch taller than him, but he's ripped up. He's always in the weight room. He gets up probably 3:45 every morning to go work out before work.

"When I go home, he always wakes me up. I'm like, ‘Come on, Dad, it's 3:45 in the morning, I'm on break,' and he'll still get me up to go work out. So he instilled great leadership in me too as well."

Smith II isn't the only Eagle to request a pair of roman numerals upon joining the Eagles. Cornerback Nolan Carroll II asked to be referred to as such after he signed with the Eagles as a free agent.

"I've always been Carroll II, but nobody puts it on my profile or anything," Carroll II said. "This is the first time they've put it on there. I don't know about my jersey yet, I might put it on there."

Carroll the elder is a military man who served over 25 years in the Air Force, earning the title senior master sergeant. In fact, he still works for the Air Force as an independent contractor after retiring. Now, though, there are three Nolan Carrolls in the lineage, after Nolan III was born five months ago.

"For me, my dad may have been the most inspirational person in my life," Carroll II said. "He might not have been a superstar or whatever, but in my eyes, he was my hero. He always did things the right way. He was always talking the right way. So I always look at him to be the example. I have my own son now, and I want to be like my dad. I want to teach him what my dad taught me."

For both Smith II and Carroll II, the added identifier serves as a daily reminder of the men who helped them get where they are today.

"He tries to do everything he can to help me out in each and every way," Smith II said. "Even as a NFL player, he still calls to try to figure out what's going on, whether I need anything, do I need any help.

"I just want to be able to thank him and just put that on the back of my jersey. And I'll probably get him something nice for Father's Day too."

For more on Father's Day, check out our infographic.

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