SANTA CLARA -- Up until March, Torrey Smith’s entire football career covered a 105-mile stretch of Interstate 95, the East Coast’s main highway, between Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland.
“I went to high school in Fredericksburg. That’s an hour and some change from College Park, up 95,” Smith explained. “Then the Ravens stadium is 40 minutes from College Park, up 95. So that’s literally all the farther I went the whole time since I left high school.”
On March 10, the 49ers signed Smith to a five-year, $40 million contract for his ability to take the top off defenses as a coveted deep threat. Coming to the Bay Area is the first time the 6-foot, 205-pound receiver will be on a team that’s located outside of his self described “comfort zone.”
"I’ve always been so close. I’ve always been in a comfort zone," Smith told reporters on the day the entire 49ers team reported to training camp. “Being out here, it’s like I’ve actually been able to focus on football more. It’s peaceful to me. It’s weird. I was telling my wife today, I love being out here. I have an opportunity to just focus on what I’m doing, no outside distractions.”
The unexpected benefit of moving west came as Smith spent the majority of the offseason in the Bay Area with his wife and toddler son, T.J.
Baltimore is still home, Smith says, but having his extended family and a network of friends 3,000 miles away has given him freedom to spend more time on what he wants.
“It’s just us out here,” Smith said. “It’s nice to be kind of isolated.”
Smith also plans to isolate himself from social media during training camp and the temptations of a cell phone. He will do no tweeting or posting on Instagram for a few weeks, he said.
“There’s something about being on your phone it draws you in. It’s like an addiction in a lot of ways,” Smith said. “I learned that in my rookie camp I put it away, and I was able to just focus. And that’s been great for me.”
Smith will use FaceTime to keep in touch with those back home, but insists he did not choose to sign with San Francisco to avoid anyone.
“The main reason why I’m here is because of the fit. This is a great organization,” Smith said. “I want to go to a place where you really have a chance to win and this is that place.”