JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot is known for his hustle on the field, but he was just as quick to jump into action in his living room when his wife went into labor several weeks early.
The 26-year-old NFL player told "Good Morning America" he experienced the "scariest moment" of his life Tuesday when his wife Aumari started experiencing contractions.
"This contraction hits so hard. I'm falling to the ground. My body is telling me to push -- I can feel it. And so I started to push," Aumari Smoot said.
They were about to leave their Florida home for the hospital around 4 a.m. ET but didn't have time to spare.
"I catch Aumari and hold her up and also catch the baby at the same time. That was everything going through my mind: make sure everybody's OK," Dawuane said.
"[She] just took a big, big breath and she started crying. [I'm like], "OK, that's great. We're good," he added.
The Jaguars' number 91 then called 911.
The operator on the other line could hear the baby crying and told Dawuane that this was a good sign. She instructed him to "gently wipe off the baby's mouth and nose" and grab a shoestring.
"I'm like, 'What do we need a shoestring for?' They're like, 'You have to clamp the umbilical cord,' so I'm going, grabbing my shoes. I've never ripped out shoestrings faster in my life," Dawuane said.
The baby girl, named Ahlani Moon Smoot, is happy and healthy, the couple said. Dawuane said he gives his wife full credit for the successful delivery, saying this was a testament to her strength.
The Smoots also have a 2-year-old son, Ahmir.