On the sideline, he's one of the first guys to crack a joke to lighten the mood. He can easily make light of a situation, and sometimes even resorts to singing to force a smile.
Then Dreamius Smith puts on his black football helmet. It's time to go to work. There are no more grins. When the Heights workhorse carries the football there's no time to laugh — especially by the opposing team.
"He certainly wants to be a guy who produces during games," Heights coach Rick Wheeler said. "He wants to carry his weight and then some."
Smith, behind a large offensive line, helped to carry the Falcons all the way to the Class 6A title game last season. He flipped the switch in the playoffs, gaining 514 yards in four games, averaging 10 yards per carry. He had 895 yards in nine regular-season games.
His physical attributes certainly set Smith apart from other backs in the area. He's built like a linebacker at 6-foot, 205 pounds with the downhill speed of a receiver. He anchored Heights' 400-meter relay team, which won Class 6A, in the spring.
With the tools already in place, Smith trained throughout the offseason, and Wheeler thinks he could perform at a higher level.
"He's still maturing as an athlete," Wheeler said. "He's certainly stronger and faster. I hope he's more agile. He's very determined and very focused to have a great senior season and lead his football team."
The competitor in Smith, who has already made an oral commitment to Kansas, forces him to look for ways to improve as a football player. Wheeler said his running back already puts the time in when it comes to the weight room.
"Maybe I need to work on my vision a little more," Smith said. "You know, coming in and reading my blocks. The other stuff was there. I just need to work on that a little bit. That's all just going to work itself out in practice."
Mentally, Wheeler expects Smith to have worked on a few other things by the time the season starts. He's already seen signs of maturity.
"He's always worked hard in (the weight room)," Wheeler said. "In his mind as a leader and as a person who can help to raise the play of his teammates around him, he's become more selfless and more team oriented."
Smith has put in the effort to make those changes.
"I needed to work a little bit more on (being a leader)," Smith said. "But I believe going into the season I will have accepted my role."
Smith will have plenty of opportunities to make an impact on the field this season. There was no surprise last year, and there will be no surprise this year. He will be the go-to guy for Heights. He knows that, the Falcons know that and their opponents know that. Smith's teammates, especially on defense, appreciate that strategy.
"It makes it a lot easier for us," said Evan Wessel, Heights' free safety, who has won two 6A basketball titles with Smith. "Dreamius is an amazing athlete. When he's out there on the field using up that clock. it gives us time to rest. When we come out it makes us stronger."
There is a possibility that Smith will have to fight a little bit harder for yardage this season. His offensive line returns two starters. Even so, Wheeler knows it won't change Smith's attitude towards his teammates.
"He's a fun-loving guy," Wheeler said. "He's always giving love to the guys up front and to the defense and to the special teams. He's not a big-headed guy."