Share All sharing options for: Steve Smith has proven to be a finisher in the NFL, as a father and community leader
You try to drop little seeds with him and hope they stick. At times they do. I think he has a great base. For me as a dad, I think I’ve always looked at my kids have the opportunity, unlike me, I was hoping to go to college. My kids aren’t hoping. The question is, where will they go to college. That’s important. That shows how important we emphasize this, me and my wife, but also shows their commitment on their own. I think that speaks volumes.
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– Steve Smith
OREM — Steve Smith Sr. has a simple but direct goal for the 2016 NFL season.
“Finish,”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg the Baltimore Ravens wide receiver said. “https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgFinish the season.”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg
The 2016 season will be his second attempt at a final professional season after his 2015 campaign — originally supposed to be Smith’s last — was cut short by a torn Achilles injury on Nov. 1. In December, Smith announced he’d return this year for a 16th NFL season.
The former University of Utah standout refused to end his career on an injury.
“As it looks right now with what happened, I’m just hoping I can do that,” said the 36-year-old, who”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs tirelessly working on rehabbing his right leg.
Before the injury, Smith was on his way to another 1,000-yard receiving season, which would have been his fourth 1,000-yard season in the past five years, finishing with 670 yards and three touchdowns in seven games in 2015.
Whether it’s been on the field or in the community, Smith has proven to be a finisher on many fronts.
Smith, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro, was given the Distinguished American Award by the Utah Chapter of the National Football Foundation during the organization’s 22nd annual awards banquet on Tuesday night at UVU”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs UCCU Center. It was clear his career has made an impression with the 13 high school football players recognized as scholar-leader-athletes at the event.
Logan quarterback Hunter Horsley, chosen as the high school representative to speak at the NFF event, recalled a defining play when Smith was playing for the Carolina Panthers, where the veteran played 13 of his NFL seasons. The Panthers were facing the New York Giants, and as Smith caught a pass across the middle, he was hit by a defender. In a play typical of the 5-foot-9, 195-pound Smith”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs toughness, he put that defender on his back, then shook off another defender before scoring a touchdown.
It was later revealed that Smith had broken his arm on the play.
“https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgWhat a beast, to be able to keep going and not quit. A broken arm is a great excuse to fall down and maybe even fall. But he didn’t stop,”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg Horsley, who led the Grizzlies to the 3AA state title in 2015, told the crowd of more than 500 at the NFF banquet. “https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgThanks to football, Steve Smith learned to play hard and not give up. Because he learned it, we watched it. Because we watched it, we applied it to our own games and it made us better.”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg
Smith has developed toughness in all aspects of his life, including as a father to four children and as a leader in the community. He can relate to the young men who were honored Tuesday. Not only has he gone down the path that they are traversing right now, going from high school to college, but Smith has his own player currently in that game: eldest son Peyton is heading to college this year after signing a Letter of Intent to play soccer for DePaul University.
Smith, who strongly professes the importance of getting a good education, admits the process has been nerve-wracking as a parent.
“https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgYou try to drop little seeds with him and hope they stick. At times they do. I think he has a great base. For me as a dad, I think I’ve always looked at my kids have the opportunity, unlike me, I was hoping to go to college. My kids aren’t hoping. The question is, where will they go to college,”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg he said.
“https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgThat’s important. That shows how important we emphasize this, me and my wife, but also shows their commitment on their own. I think that speaks volumes.”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg
Smith, who visited the University of Utah campus Wednesday, continues to make an impact at his alma mater with actions that confirm his commitment to education.
“https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgI have an academic scholarship through the Young Alumni Award, then we have a football scholarship,”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg he said. “https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgIt’s just leaving my imprint.”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg
Leaving a lasting, positive impression is of upmost importance to Smith and his wife, Angie, who established the Steve Smith Family Foundation to help strengthen their community, particularly in domestic violence and child health and wellness issues.
Smith, whose family lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, recently had another opportunity to reach out to the community, when Dream to 3 — a charity organization that helps fulfill sports dreams for children with chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities, or life-altering conditions — approached him with a plan.
Aubrey Bridges, an 18-year-old high school senior who suffers from a rare autistic disorder called Vein of Galen Malformation, which deals with an auditory processing delay and speech apraxia, needed a prom date.
In stepped the football player beloved in the Charlotte area. Last week, Smith asked Bridges to the prom via a video that’s been shared on social media. Bridges, who does not verbalize many things, gave him a smile in acceptance.
The date”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs fast approaching — Bridges”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg prom is on April 23.
“https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgWe’re going to have fun and just try to make this girl’s special night. I think it’s a privilege my name came up and I thought living in the South and learning some of the Southern hospitality that I should ask her to prom,”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg Smith said. “https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgWe’ve got a limo. I’ve got to figure out what color dress she’s going to wear and then (make sure) my suit will match her.”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg
Smith said football, and the opportunities it has afforded him, has changed his life.
“https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgIt”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs fun to play on Sundays, but it”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs pretty hard as heck during the week. Physically it”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs tough, but mentally it”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs actually helped me in every area of my life,”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg he said. “https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgIt”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs pushed me to be a better husband, a better father, a better businessman and also to be a better leader in my community in Charlotte and in Baltimore.”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg
Though it”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs the offseason for the NFL, Smith”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs final pro season, again, is fast approaching, and he”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgll be sharing it with a fellow Utah alum. In March, the Ravens signed 10-year veteran safety Eric Weddle, a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro.
Smith said he hasn”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgt had the chance to show Weddle around Baltimore yet because the offseason has been so busy, but he”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs looking forward to sharing the field with another Ute product who makes the players around him better.
“https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgIt’ll be great. That’s why I recruited him so hard. I called him and bugged him and called him again,”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg Smith said. “https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgThat’s the key in Baltimore is always bringing in veterans who bring something more than just their game. He’ll be able to give those other guys an opportunity to learn and be intellectually just as good as him. That’s the important part.”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg
Before his career is done, Smith has more opportunities to climb the NFL”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs all-time leading receivers charts. He”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgs currently 11th all-time with 13,932 career receiving yards, and trails Tim Brown for sixth overall by 1,002 yards. Tony Gonzalez is fifth, 1,195 yards ahead of Smith. He also has 76 career touchdown receptions and is nine away from being tied for 15th all-time.
No matter where he lands on those lists, though, Smith has already left his mark with the next generation of players with his determination to fight and finish strong.
“https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgSteve Smith was once a young man that walks that same path that we are on now. Someone stood there for him and showed him the right way to go,”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg said Horsley, who sat next to Smith at the NFF event. “https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpgHe’s had an incredible career and continuously stood at the fork in the road to show us which way to go. He’s been an amazing example of what hard work can do.”https://thedailysplash.tv/angie-smith-steve-smith-sr/imager_1_1335_700.jpg