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Akili Smith

Akili Smith at the Calgary Stampeders 2007 training camp.
No. 11, 17     
Personal information
Date of birth: August 21, 1975 (1975-08-21) (age 34)
Place of birth: San Diego, California
High School: Abraham Lincoln High School in San Diego
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
College: Oregon
NFL Draft: 1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Debuted in 1999 for the Cincinnati Bengals
Last played in 2007 for the Calgary Stampeders
Career history
 As player:
*Inactive and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Career NFL statistics as of 2002
Pass attempts     461
Pass completions     215
Percentage     56.6
TD-INT     5-13
Passing yards     2,212
QB Rating     52.8
Stats at

Kabisa Akili Maradufu Smith (born August 21, 1975 in San Diego, California) is a former professional American and Canadian football quarterback. He was selected in the first round (3rd overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, the third quarterback in the first three choices, behind Tim Couch (Cleveland Browns), and Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles). Smith played college football at the University of Oregon.

In his career, Smith has also played for the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Frankfurt Galaxy, and Calgary Stampeders.


College career

Smith attended Abraham Lincoln High School in San Diego, the alma mater of Marcus Allen and Terrell Davis,[1] before choosing to go to the University of Oregon. Smith came to the foreground of draft discussions because of his performance in his senior season at Oregon, throwing 32 touchdown passes in only 11 starts in college.

Professional career

1999 Draft

In the 1999 NFL Draft, a year when five quarterbacks would be drafted in the first round, Smith was the third quarterback and third player selected overall, by the Cincinnati Bengals.

National Football League (1999 - 2005)

Cincinnati Bengals

Prior to the draft, there was an effort by New Orleans Saints' head coach Mike Ditka and management to get the Bengals' high draft position so the Saints could get Ricky Williams. The final offer, which was refused by Bengals management, was for nine draft picks, several extra in that year as well as many the next year. Instead of taking the trade, the Bengals stayed with their initial decision to draft Smith, who, while athletic, (he had also played two years of minor-league baseball and ran a 4.66 40-yard dash[2]) was still largely unproven, having only succeeded at the college level for one season.

Smith missed large periods of 1999 training camp due to contract disputes; many pundits later speculated that his absence from this part of training camp hurt him in the seasons to come[citation needed]. Despite showing athleticism in his early games, he failed to grasp the Bengals playbook fully, and never established himself with the team. During the four years he was with the Bengals, he would only start in 17 games, eventually leading to his release in 2002.

Green Bay Packers/Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Frankfurt Galaxy

In 2003, Smith tried out for the Green Bay Packers, as Brett Favre's backup. He was, however, released.[3] In 2005, he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a stint in NFL Europe where he started four games for the Frankfurt Galaxy.

Canadian Football League (2007)

Calgary Stampeders (2007)

In 2007, Smith signed a two-year contract with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, where he was expected to compete for the starting quarterback position with another former NFL player, Henry Burris. After an unimpressive debut in an exhibition against the Edmonton Eskimos, Smith played well in the final exhibition against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Though listed going into the game as the third-string quarterback, he completed three touchdown passes in only one half of play, including one to former Kansas City Chiefs Wide receiver Marc Boerigter.

In his first regular season action, replacing Burris in the second quarter on July 12, Smith struggled against the Toronto Argonauts. He finished 6-of-10 for 63 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He also lost one fumble. He was then pulled at the end of the half.

After an unimpressive showing against the Roughriders on October 8, 2007, going 4-of-12, for 37 yards, along with the impending return of a healthy Burris, the Stampeders released Smith on October 10, 2007.

Post Football

Smith was the quarterbacks coach for Grossmont Junior College in San Diego. He will attend the university in the fall to get a master's degree in theology and divinity and become a pastor. He currently is a deacon at United Missionary Baptist Church. He plays football for God's House, a flag football team.[4]

In March 2010 Smith joined California's football staff as a graduate assistant to work with the offense. Cal head coach Jeff Tedford previously coached Smith at Oregon as offensive coordinator.


External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jeff Blake
Cincinnati Bengals Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Jon Kitna

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