Steve Smith (American football, born 1979): Wikis


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Steve Smith
No. 89     Carolina Panthers
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: May 12, 1979 (1979-05-12) (age 30)
Place of birth: Lynwood, California
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
College: Utah
NFL Draft: 2001 / Round: 3 / Pick: 77
Debuted in 2001 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Injured Reserve
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2009
Receptions     574
Receiving Yards     8,330
Receiving TDs     50
Stats at

Stevonne Latrall Smith[1] (born May 12, 1979 in Lynwood, California) is an American football wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was brought to the Panthers organization as a third round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at University of Utah.

Smith, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, has emerged as one of the NFL's most productive wide receivers, leading the league in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns in 2005.


Early years

Smith spent most of his early years in the Athens Park neighborhood of south Los Angeles. Although Athens Park was relatively better than other underprivileged neighborhoods in the area, it was still plagued with explicit drug activity and gang related violence.

High school years

Smith attended University High School in Los Angeles, California, and was a letterman in football and track & field. In football, he played running back and defensive back, and was an All-Metro League selection and was an All-California Interscholastic Federation selection. In track & field, he set a handful of school records, was named as an All-City selection as a high-hurdler, and also excelled in the triple jump and 300m hurdles. Steve Smith graduated from University High School in 1997.

College career

After graduating from high school, Smith attended Santa Monica College. While playing for the college’s football team, Smith quickly defined himself as a talented football player, and earned a starting position. During this time, Smith was teammates with future NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.

While impressing spectators with his performance on the football field, Santa Monica’s head coach, Robert Taylor, encouraged Smith to not play for riches or fame, but to play so that he might earn a scholarship to a Division-I school, where he could receive a better education. He also advised Smith and OchoCinco to not do touchdown celebrations and as Smith said, "they put the cuffs on us." Smith took Taylor’s advice to heart, and excelled in his academics, not missing a single day of classes while attending Santa Monica.

After completing two years at Santa Monica College, Smith transferred to the University of Utah, where he established himself as a standout wideout in the Mountain West Conference where he was a teammate of running back Mike Anderson. While at the University of Utah, Smith set the record for yards per catch with a 20.6 average, and was chosen to play for the conference’s all-star team twice. However he missed their bowl game in his final season due to injury. After the Blue-Gray All-Star game on December 25th, 2000, Smith began to receive attention from various NFL scouts. He and his wife have endowed an athletics scholarship at the University of Utah.[2]

Professional career


2001 NFL Draft

The Carolina Panthers chose Smith in the third round (74th Overall) during the 2001 NFL Draft.

Pre-draft measureables
Wt 40y 20ss 3-cone Vert BP Wonderlic
184 lb* 4.44s* 4.25s* 6.44s* 48.5 in* 19 28*[3]

(* represents NFL Combine)

Carolina Panthers

Initial success

Smith spent a majority of his rookie season as a kick and punt returner, leading all rookies in net yardage with a 1,994 yards, and landing in fourth place among all NFL players behind Priest Holmes, Marshall Faulk, and Derrick Mason. Smith’s performance was rewarded with an invite to the Pro Bowl. Smith joined Todd Sauerbrun as the only players to represent the Panthers in the 2002 Pro Bowl.

During the 2002 NFL season, Smith earned a starting position as a wide receiver and continued to carry out his kickoff and punt return duties. On November 10, 2002, Smith was involved with an altercation with his teammate Anthony Bright during a film-room meeting.[4] The fight left Bright with a broken nose and he was hospitalized for two nights. Smith was arrested and briefly jailed on charges of misdemeanor assault, but was not sentenced to any prison time. The Panthers suspended him for one game. During the 2003 season, Smith played a critical role for the Panther offense and further improved his statistics. During the NFC divisional playoffs, Smith caught a 69 yard pass and ran it for a touchdown in overtime to defeat the St. Louis Rams 29-23. He went on to catch 4 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown and returned a kickoff for 30 yards in the Panthers narrow 32-29 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Injury and return

Smith suffered a severe break in his leg during the 2004 NFL season opener against the Green Bay Packers. During the 2005 NFL season, Smith recovered from his injury and returned to the NFL, accomplishing the difficult Triple Crown of receiving by leading the NFL with 1,563 receiving yards and tying for receptions (103) and touchdowns (12). Prior to Smith, the Triple Crown had only been accomplished by Jerry Rice in 1990 and Sterling Sharpe in 1992. He also returned 27 punts for 286 yards, giving him the second highest return average of his career (10.6).

After a wild card shut-out victory over the New York Giants in the 2005 post season (with Smith catching 10 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 12 yards and another score), and delivering a costly upset to the Chicago Bears (Aided by Smith's franchise record 12 receptions for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 26 rushing yards), Smith and the rest of the Carolina Panthers would go on to face the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship. The Panthers would lose the game, 34-14, and Smith would only gain 33 receiving yards, due to excessive coverage. He also returned a punt 59 yards for a touchdown in the game. Nevertheless, Smith, along with teammates Jake Delhomme, Julius Peppers, and Mike Wahle were invited to the 2006 Pro Bowl. At the end of the season, Smith shared the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award with New England Patriots’s linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

After suffering a hamstring injury in training camp before the 2006 season, he returned to the field after missing two weeks of action. During the fourth week of the preseason, Smith pulled a hamstring and developed an ingrown toenail, which sidelined him for the remainder of the preseason and the first two weeks of the 2006 NFL Season. Steve was double covered frequently but still managed to battle through that and injuries to catch 83 balls for 1186 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was also invited to the 2007 Pro Bowl.

Smith made headlines during the 2008 training camp when he was involved in an altercation with teammate Ken Lucas on August 1, 2008. Smith broke Lucas' nose during the fight and was later sent home for the remainder of the day after reportedly apologizing. Smith was given a two game suspension by the team. [5][6][7] Smith then suffered a severe concussion during the 2008 preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, where Smith was hit in the head when catching a pass.[8] He continued to play that game, but did not travel with the team to their next game against the Philadelphia Eagles. After returning from suspension and scoring his first touchdown of the 2008 season, Smith presented the ball to Lucas on the sideline. [9] Despite his 2-game suspension, Steve Smith was voted to the 2009 Pro Bowl, and managed to grab 78 balls for 1,421 receiving yards.

During Week 16 of the 2009 NFL Season, Smith broke his left forearm on a touchdown catch, and finished the year with 982 yards on 65 receptions and 7 touchdowns, just 18 yards shy of a 5th straight 1,000 yard receiving season

On January 1, 2010, Smith was placed on injured reserve due to a forearm injury.

Career accomplishments

  • In 2001, Smith was the first rookie to make the Pro Bowl as a special teams player since Tyrone Hughes in 1993 (Jerome Mathis later did this in 2005, Devin Hester in 2006, and Clifton Smith of the Buccaneers in 2008).
  • Smith’s 404 postseason yards in 2003 were the most since Jerry Rice gained 409 yards in 1988.
  • In 2005, Smith became the first player since Washington Redskins' receiver Art Monk in 1984 to lead the NFL in receptions for a team that ran more often than it passed.
  • Smith earned the NFL's receiving "triple crown" in 2005, leading the league in receptions (103), yards (1,563) and touchdowns (12).
  • Smith is one of only three players in history, along with Jermaine Lewis, to run back two punts for touchdowns and catch a touchdown pass in the same game.
  • Smith also holds an NFL record for highest punt return average in a single game (51.0 yards).
  • Smith led the NFL in receiving yards per game in the 2008-2009 NFL season.


Smith and his wife, Angie, have three children: Baylee, Peyton, and Boston. He coaches his son’s soccer team in his spare time. Among Steve’s tattoos are Papa Smurf, a Superman S, the Tasmanian Devil, and Chinese calligraphy which translate to “Strong Soul.” He also has the names of his wife and children tattooed on his leg. Off of the field, Smith is a partner in Athletes United for Youth along with Dell Curry and Jay Bilas. Athletes United for Youth is a charity organization that provides educational, programmatic, and structured support to youth housed within under-served communities. Athletes United for Youth provides youth services and a Safe Haven throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg communities. In May 2008, Smith announced that he purchased a near-50% interest in the existing Velocity Sports Performance franchise in Charlotte and an equal ownership percentage in any future Charlotte area Velocity centers.[10] In May 2008, Smith announced that he is working at Morgan Stanley's Charlotte, NC office as a financial planning intern. He is working alongside his own financial advisor, Derek L.Copeland, who is Senior Vice President with the Copeland Sivak Group.

In winter of 2008, Smith did a commercial for ESPN's Sportscenter with Kenny Mayne.



External links

Preceded by
Drew Brees
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award
(Co-Award Winner Tedy Bruschi)
Succeeded by
Chad Pennington


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