Timmy Smith

Timmy Smith
No. 36, 33
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1964-01-21) January 21, 1964
Place of birth: Hobbs, New Mexico
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 216 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Hobbs (NM)
College: Texas Tech
NFL Draft: 1987 / Round: 5 / Pick: 117
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • Super Bowl champion (XXII)
  • Super Bowl record 204 rushing yards in one game
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 602
Average: 3.2
Touchdowns: 3
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Timothy LaRay "Timmy" Smith (born January 21, 1964) is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Texas Tech University.

Early years

Smith attended Hobbs High School, where he played football and basketball. He graduated with the state of New Mexico record for rushing yards (2,306 yards) and rushing touchdowns (31).

He accepted a scholarship from Texas Tech University. As a sophomore he led the team in rushing with 164 carries for 711 yards. The next season he rushed for 97 yards on 7 carries and 2 touchdowns in the season opener against the University of New Mexico, until he was hit after scoring his second touchdown, which resulted in a knee injury that kept him out of action for most of the year, finishing with 26 carries for 140 yards and 3 touchdowns.[1]

As a fifth year senior he suffered a fractured foot and ankle during an early-season practice, that sidelined him again for most of the season, posting 7 carries 7 for 19 yards. He finished his college career after appearing in 28 games, with 292 carries for 1,313 yards and 8 touchdowns.[2]

Professional career

Washington Redskins

Smith was selected by the Washington Redskins in the fifth round (117th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft, because of his combination of size and athletic ability. During the season although starter George Rogers was limited with different injuries, Smith had only carried the ball in four games.

In the Divisional playoff game against the Chicago Bears, Rogers wasn't playing well, so after he had only 6 carries for 13 yards, combined with an ineffective performance by his backup Kelvin Bryant, Smith was inserted into the game and responded with 66 yards on 16 carries, including 7 carries to run out the clock.[3] In the NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings he had 72 rushing yards on 13 carries, contributing to a narrow 17-10 win.[4]

After his playoff performances, head coach Joe Gibbs made the decision to start Smith in the Super Bowl, but only told about this to starting quarterback Doug Williams and few of his assistant coaches, in order to avoid rookie Smith being overwhelmed by the pressure. Smith was told about this decision before the pregame warmups.

In Super Bowl XXII, Smith set a Super Bowl rushing record in his first career start, gaining 204 yards and scoring 2 touchdowns. His efforts helped lead the Redskins to a 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos. It would his only significant achievement as an NFL player, even receiving recognition from the NFL Films as the #2 one-shot wonder in league history.[5] His career would be plagued with injuries and suspicions of drug use.

In 1988, he didn't participate in offseason workouts and training camp, while holding out for a better contract. He reported 25 pounds overweight and had an up and down season, losing his starter position after the eight game and didn't have a rushing attempt in the last four games, finishing with 155 carries for 470 yards and 3 touchdowns.[6]

In 1989, he was no longer seen as a good fit and was left unprotected—eligible to sign with any team under Plan B free agency.[7]

San Diego Chargers

In the 1989 offseason, Smith turned down a' $100,000 offer from the Miami Dolphins, failed a physical with the Phoenix Cardinals and eventually signed with San Diego Chargers for $250,000 on April 1.[8] Smith suffered a severe left ankle sprain in training camp and was seen with a suspected drug dealer,[9] leading to his release on September 5.[10]

Dallas Cowboys

In May 1990, he was signed after having a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys. In that offseason, the Cowboys also acquired running backs Terrence Flagler in a traded and future hall of fame Emmitt Smith in the 1990 NFL draft. Because of the competition at the position, the Cowboys also tried him at fullback. On September 4, he was cut the same day the Cowboys traded for running back Alonzo Highsmith.[11] He was brought back to play in the season opener, but was released on September 11, after rushing for only 6 yards on 6 carries.

Baltimore Colts (CFL)

In 1994, he was signed by the Baltimore Colts of the Canadian Football League,[12] but was released before the start of the season.

Personal life

In 2005, he was arrested for allegedly trying to sell cocaine to an undercover police officer in Denver. Smith pleaded guilty in March 2006 for conspiring to distribute cocaine, and was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison that May.[13] Smith was released from federal prison on March 3, 2008.[14]


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