Some players would get angry about such descriptions but Smith is loving it and he’s loving this season where his form and life off the field are as settled as he can remember.
“Lately everyone is asking me, ‘Are you OK with that?'” Smith exclaimed with a laugh.
“Do I look like I’m not OK with it? I’ve been asked that question. Channel Nine asked me, the Storm asked me because they do social media on it and I don’t care. You can call me what you want as long as you are putting up in the social media.
“My family love it, my mum especially.
“I saw this little wombat picture of me the other day and that cracked me up.”
All the nicknames come from Smith’s stout build and powerful, burrowing running style. He usually starts on the bench for Storm and is thrown into the game and immediately lifts the tempo.
“The thing I love about him is that he is just a competitor,” Bellamy told NRL 360 recently.
“And there is no sort of second or third gear with Brandon. It is either stop or full pace, and that is how I like my footy players.
“He is a tough little unit.”
Smith prefers to play hooker but with Cameron Smith still the best hooker in the game, he has had to do what the best wombats do and adapt to his environment.
Now he plays as a utility forward running hard through the middle despite being smaller than most of the locks and props he faces.
Like good cheese, he has also matured and is taking better care of his body off the field.
Smith credits having his girlfriend and drinking less alcohol as the big reasons for his consistent form.
“I’m pretty happy with my back end of the season, we have a rating and I haven’t had any under eight,” Smith said.
“I’m doing everything right off the field. Craig was on TV the other day and said it took me 18 months to work out off-field business.
“I finally think I’ve sorted that out. My body is holding up better and it’s showing on the field.
“I used to love a beer more than most. I didn’t do too many stupid things when going out but those [post-game] niggles hurt a bit more and you don’t really do anything as you are in bed hungover.
“Now I’m more active. My girlfriend has moved down and she keeps me in line.”
The Storm face South Sydney Rabbitohs in Gosford on Sunday and with the finals fast approaching Smith wants to see his side finish the season strongly and go one better after losing last year’s grand final.
“I’d be lying if I said no – all the boys have had it in the back of our minds that we lost the grand final last year,” Smith said.
“We lost the minor premiership as well. We let little things like that slip through our fingers.
“We recognise we need to go one better than we did last year, it’s a painful experience losing a grand final and I can’t imagine how good it would be to win one – hopefully we can.”
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.