Less than two months after retiring from the 49ers and the NFL, Justin Smith might be returning to football.
Not as a player, but rather, as a coach.
This according to University of Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel, who spoke during the SEC's Media Day on Wednesday.
"I think (Justin) wants to get involved in the weight room a little bit with our players and help us out. That would be great if he can do that. He would be a tremendous asset to us," Pinkel said Wednesday according to NFL.com.
Smith, who played 14 years in the NFL with the Bengals and 49ers, was born in Holts Summit, Missouri. He attended Jefferson City High School and played collegiately at Missouri from 1998 to 2000.
Pinkel told reporters that Smith is building a house not far from his hometown.
"He's from (Jefferson) City, the state capital, about 25 miles south of Columbia. He's going to be living right in Columbia and we'd love to have him come back. I talked to Andy Hill, who recruited him, our quarterback coach, and we'll see," Pinkel said.
It comes as no surprise that Smith has interest in working in the weight room. In February when Smith was leaning toward retirement, Smith was still regularly showing up at the 49ers' practice facility to work out.
General manager Trent Baalke said at the time that Smith's continued emphasis on working out served as no indication whether Smith would return for another season with the 49ers.
"I’d say, yes, for the normal person, but for Justin, that’s a way of life for him," Baalke said. "He’s always done that. He was in the process of building a home back in Missouri and one of the first things he built was a weight room. That’s just the way he’s wired. That’s part of his life. That’s why he’s been as successful as he’s been throughout his career."