Agnew is captain of the Sunderland Under-21 side, but he has said that he is not the only leader outside their first team.
The 20-year-old midfielder believes that Smith has earned a lot of respect from his teammates at Sunderland because of his attitude on the pitch.
“I’m not the only skipper in the dressing room; there are three or four of us who are really the leaders so I wouldn’t say that I’m specifically the captain," he told Sunderland’s official website.
“I am one of the players who the younger players look up too but there are three or four of us – the likes of Martin Smith – who lead from the front.”
Agnew and Smith have both been key figures for Sunderland’s development side, and they have helped them climb to the top of the Premier League’s Under-21 division.
Despite their good form, the Black Cats have been reluctant to utilise their younger players in their first team.
Sunderland have tended to go with experience, and Agnew and Smith are both still waiting to make their Premier League debuts.
They will take heart from Duncan Watmore’s recent rise, though, as he has stepped out of the youth-team and be handed chance for the senior side in recent weeks.