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Former Ute Steve Smith Going into his final NFL Season

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Former Utah kick returner / wide receiver, and all-time great NFL wide receiver, Steve Smith Sr. is making the 2015 NFL season his last, he announced earlier this past week.

According to, Smith and Hall of Famer Tim Brown are the only players in NFL history to surpass 13,000 receiving yards and 4,000 return yards. Smith currently ranks 18th in league history in receptions (915), 14th in receiving yards (13,262) and 33rd in touchdown catches (73).

During his two years up on The Hill ('99-'00), Smith racked up 1603 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Smith was also incredibly dangerous as a kick returner as well. He had 860 yards and 4 touchdowns in the return game to go along with his receiving stats.

He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers, whom he played a major of his career with, in the 3rd round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Coming out of Utah, Smith was viewed as basically just a return man, and has always been doubted because of his size. With the talk of him only being a return man, and being counted out because of his size, made a massive chip on Smith's shoulder and made him the best receiver in the NFL for multiple seasons. No matter the size and speed of the corners that were put on him, they couldn't stop Smith.

He helped take the Panthers to their lone Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2003 season, and really hasn't played with an elite quarterback in this NFL career (unless you consider Joe Flacco as elite). The question that will come up for Smith after his 15th and final season is does he belong in the NFL Hall of Fame? I believe so.