Will Smith (American football)
currentteam=New Orleans Saints
birthdate=birth date and age|1981|7|4
birthplace=Queens, New York
debutteam=New Orleans Saints
Pro Bowlselection (2006)
New Orleans Saints(2004-present)
Will Smith (born
July 4, 1981in Queens, New York) is an American football defensive endwho currently plays for the New Orleans Saintsof the NFL. He played college footballat The Ohio State University.
High school career
At Proctor High School in
Utica, New York, Smith was a USA Today All-American pick, and was rated by Prep Football Report as the best defensive lineprospect in the state. As a senior he had 20 sacks.
Smith attended The Ohio State University, where as an All-Big 10 defensive end, he led Ohio State to a 14-0 season and a national championship in 2002. Smith had 46.5 career TFL's at OSU, and had 23 career sacks. He had 10.5 as a senior in 2003, 5.5 as a junior in 2002, 4 as a sophomore in 2001, and 3 as a freshman in 2000. Three-year starter at right defensive end for Ohio State, finishing with career totals of 167 tackles (111 solo), 21 sacks, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception. He started 37 of 51 games in his career…Sack total ranked fifth in school history upon his departure…All-Big 10 Conference and the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year as senior, posting 49 tackles (30 solo), 10.5 sacks and 20 stops for a loss…Finalist for Hendricks Award, given to nation’s top end…All-Big 10 second-team as junior, appearing in every game despite suffering a knee sprain at midseason… Recorded 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and a fumble recovery that season…Named Outstanding First-Year Defensive Player as freshman with three sacks.
Smith was selected as the 18th pick in the 1st round of the
2004 NFL Draftby the New Orleans Saints. He had a successful rookie season with 30 tackles and 7.5 sacks. In 2005 he had 48 tackles and 8.5 sacks and played well enough that the Saints did not re-sign Darren Howardthus making Smith the starter opposite Charles Grantfor the 2006 season. Smith is gradually establishing himself as one of the premier defensive ends in the NFL.
In his first season as a full-time starter, Smith became a leader of the defensive line and emerged as one of the NFL’s top defensive ends. He was voted to the Pro Bowl and finished tied for 14th in the NFL with a career-best 10.5 sacks. Smith played in 14 games, sitting out the finale with the Saints having clinched a playoff berth and also missing one contest with a knee injury. The club’s No. 1 pick in 2004 has been a force since his arrival in New Orleans, notching 33.5 sacks in four seasons. His 26.0 sacks in his first three season is the second-most in club history in so short a span (
Charles Grant, 27.5, 2002-04). Smith brings energy, toughness and a hard-nosed approach to each game, setting the tone for the entire defensive front, and he’s equally strong against the run. In his brief career, he has played in 62 games and posted 215 tackles (156 solo) and 13 forced fumbles.
In 2006, he was named to his first
Pro Bowlas a starter.
Turned in a strong rookie year with 59 tackles (41 solo), 7.5 sacks, a team-high six forced fumbles and a fumble recovery… Played in all 16 games and started four, recording a sack in seven games…Sack total ranked second in the NFL among rookies and fourth in club history for a rookie…Came on strong over the last eight games with 36 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery…Had six tackles (four solo), a sack and a forced fumble vs. San Francisco, Sept. 19…Had four tackles (all solo) and a sack at Atlanta, Nov. 28…First of a three-week stretch where he recorded a sack, including vs. Carolina, Dec. 5 and at Dallas, Dec. 12, when he also added a forced fumble…Dec. 19 at Tampa Bay had a key forced fumble in the fourth quarter that set up a game-winning march. Also made a downfield block earlier in the quarter to spring WR Michael Lewis for a 53-yard punt return…Equaled season-high with eight stops (seven solo), 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble with a fumble recovery at Carolina, 1/2/05…Posted a forced fumble in each of last four contests, the first player in club history to do so in four-straight contests.
Tied for eighth in the NFC with a team-leading 8.5 sacks, despite starting nine games and not becoming a full-time starter until the final six contests...Had at least one sack in six contests…Recorded 85 tackles, six pass defenses, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery…Tallied five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble at Carolina, Sept. 11. Marked the fifth-straight contest Smith had caused a fumble, the first player in club history to do so… Started at LDE vs. Atlanta, Oct. 16 and had eight tackles and a sack…Top performance came at New England, Nov. 20, with a career-high 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble against defending Super Bowl Champions …Started at RDE at New York Jets, Nov. 27 and responded with six tackles and a sack…Started at LDE vs. Detroit, Dec. 24 and had six tackles, a sack and deflected a pass.
Started 14 games at RDE, declared inactive vs. San Francisco, Dec. 3, with a knee injury and vs. Carolina, Dec. 31, with the Saints having clinched a playoff berth…Posted five or more tackles in seven contests...Ranked 14th in the NFL with a career-high 10.5 sacks and added 56 tackles (35 solo), two pass defenses, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery…Had a sack in each of the first three games, and added a fumble recovery at Green Bay, Sept. 17… Notched five stops, a career-high two sacks and a forced fumble at Tampa Bay, Nov. 5…Had a pair of sacks again at Atlanta, Nov. 26 – where he also deflected a pass and forced a fumble – and had two more sacks at Dallas, Dec. 10…Was also a force in the postseason, with eight stops vs. Philadelphia in the NFC Divisional Playoffs vs. Philadelphia and seven tackles at Chicago in the NFC Championship.
Smith recorded a team high 7 sacks, 66 tackles and a Safety.
The Saints agreed to terms with Smith on a six-year, $70 million contract with $26 million guaranteed. This deal makes him the 3rd highest paid defensive end in the NFL.
* [http://www.neworleanssaints.com/playerbio.cfm?playerid=203 New Orleans Saints bio]
* [http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/493067 Will Smith] at NFL.com
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