Texas A&M star Ainias Smith had all charges filed against him dropped by the Brazos County District Attorney's Office, and the Aggies' senior wide receiver has also been reinstated to the football team from a brief suspension imposed by the athletic department.
Smith was arrested by the University Police Department on July 20 and initially charged with driving while intoxicated, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. Smith was reinstated by Texas A&M athletics director Ross Bjork and coach Jimbo Fisher on Monday, days before the case was officially dismissed by prosecutors Thursday as they declined to go forward with the charges that had been filed against the versatile NFL draft prospect.
"All charges have been dropped and I'm definitely very thankful for that," Smith said in a telephone interview Thursday night. "I got reinstated to the team Monday, so that feels pretty good. It feels good to be back with the team, working out with the guys. It feels good to know they had my back with everything that's been going on. I've been trying to stay focused. I definitely want to give a big shout-out to God for sticking with me through this whole thing and never turning his back to me. I want to give a big thanks to Jimbo Fisher. He lifted my suspension on Monday before the dismissal. They had faith in me. Jimbo wanted to make sure I stayed positive and had a good mental state. I appreciate Mr. Ross (Bjork). He lifted my suspension. We had a genuine conversation. He called me into his office. He got to the bottom of the situation. He never judged me. He was trying to get to the truth. He said you seem like a really genuine person and a good young man.
"The media was trying to make me something that I'm not. I'm really thankful for everybody, Ben Crenshaw especially, that played a role and had my back. The 12th Man, they supported me the whole time. Ten toes down. A lot of people were there for me. Man, it meant everything to me to be able to see that. My family was all the way behind me. Their support system was so strong. They were always checking up on me. My parents, my brother, my nephew and my brother's girlfriend all stuck me. It meant everything to me."
Smith was represented in this legal matter by Craig A. Greening, a veteran College Station criminal defense attorney, formerly with the district attorney and county attorney's office who has been practicing law for over two decades.
Smith was charged despite a Breathalyzer exam under the legal limit. The passenger acknowledged responsibility for the possession of the marijuana. The firearm was legal, but only became illegal in combination with the other two charges. Ultimately, all of the charges were dismissed.
"I want to give a shout-out to the county attorney's office for being quick when this is normally a 30-day process," Greening said in a telephone interview. "I've prosecuted and defended DWI cases for 25 years, and after I read the police report, I said, 'He's not guilty of the DWI charge.' The passenger admitted possession of the marijuana. The gun charge is moot, nothing to it. They said we have to see all the evidence. And that routinely can take a long time, but this was processed quickly.
"Kudos to the university for reviewing everything so quickly. This is a young man's future at stake. I told him, 'This is all behind you. You're going to do what you were born to do and put on this earth to do and not only be a football player, but be a leader. Ainias has got the character, the intelligence and he's got the moral compass to be a great leader."
Smith has combined or 1,392 total yards of offense and 16 touchdowns for the Aggies over the past two seasons. He has one punt return for a touchdown.
The younger brother of NFL defensive back Maurice Smith, a former Georgia and Alabama player, Smith is looking forward to reporting Tuesday and practicing with his teammates Wednesday on the first day of fall practice. He's now slated to not miss any time with the reinstatement happening swiftly.
Smith is holding a football camp Saturday at Stafford High School in Houston with several teammates.
"Just the thought running through my head of missing some games was bothering me for a while," Smith said. "I was praying. God showed his favor and came through for me. I'm forever thankful. I've learned many lessons from this.
"I always say I'm my biggest critic. I started to see how much of a privilege football is, and I saw how quickly you can lose the opportunity and privilege of doing something you love. I've learned from this lesson. I'm going to work and ball out with my boys. It's a great feeling."
Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and analyst and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.