After 16 NFL seasons, Alex Smith has decided to hang up his cleats and retire. The former No. 1 overall pick played for three different NFL teams in his career. He was drafted by the San Fransisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Washington Football Team. Smith decided to leave Utah a year early after leading the Utes to a perfect 12-0 season and led the Utes to the first BCS-busting season. He went 21-1 at Utah and was named a Heisman Finalist, an award that would go to USC QB Matt Leinart. During his time at Utah, Smith threw for 5203 yards, 47 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He was at the helm of the Urban Meyer offense that really helped jump-start the offensive evolution in college football.
Smith was listed by many as a bust as a No. 1 pick, but he redeemed his name after he got some stability around him in the NFL, and went to three Pro Bowls in his career, and helped with the turn around by the 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and helped Washington win a division title this past season. Of course, the story around Smith’s leg injury is well documented, with the terrifying circumstances sounding his life-threatening injury, and his future in the NFL was in serious doubt. He did manage to complete that comeback and win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He threw for 35,650 yards for his career, completed 62.58% of his passes, and threw for 199 touchdowns and 109 interceptions. He won the hearts of people all over with his battle and his perseverance to get back on the field. Reports are that multiple teams had an interest in bringing Smith in for this upcoming season.
My freshman year at Utah was the 2004 season, and that team was like The Beatles. Seeing Alex, Urban, Morgan Scalley, and the rest of the crew was like going to a rock concert. It’s easy to forget just how special that group was, with the amount of time that has gone by, but they were next level. It didn’t matter where they were on the field once Alex and that offense took the field a touchdown was expected. It was a surprise when they didn’t score.
Smith has had one heck of a journey and has done so much for Utah, and I can’t wait to see what his next chapter holds.