Kevin Ryan Smith
Smith with the Detroit Lions
No. 30     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-12-17) December 17, 1986 (age 33)
Place of birth: Miami, Florida
Career information
College: UCF
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 3 / Pick: 64
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
 As player:
* Detroit Lions ( 2008 2012)
 As coach:
* UCF (Coaching Intern) (2015-2016)
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-Conference USA (2006)
  • First-team All-Conference USA (2007)
  • C-USA Offensive Player of the Year (2007)
  • Consensus All-American (2007)
Rushing attempts     598
Rushing yards     2,346
Rushing touchdowns     17
Receptions     123
Receiving yards     1,082
Receiving touchdowns     5
Stats at

Kevin Ryan Smith (born December 17, 1986) is a former American football running back. He played college football for the University of Central Florida (UCF), and received consensus All-American honors. Smith was picked by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and played for the Lions for five seasons. He now coaches runningbacks at Florida Atlantic University.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Smith attended Southridge High School in Miami, Florida. In football, he was a three-year letterman, a two-time All-Dade County selection as both a running back and a safety, and as a junior, rushed for 1,125 yards and 15 touchdowns.

College career[edit | edit source]

Smith attended the University of Central Florida, where he played for the UCF Knights football team from 2004 to 2007. He had a standout college career as a Knight, becoming UCF's all-time leading rusher after just three seasons (2005–07). He started 34 out of 36 games for the Knights, establishing new career records with 905 carries for 4,864 yards (5.37 avg) and 45 touchdowns. His 4,864 yards rank second in Conference USA history. His 180 points scored in 2007 rank fourth on the NCAA season-record chart. During his junior campaign Smith set a major college record of 450 rushing attempts, topping the old mark of 405 carries by Marcus Allen (USC) in 1981 and falling just 62 yards shy of setting the NCAA season-rushing record of 2,628 yards set by former Lions great, Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State) in 1988.[1]

Early in his last season, Smith was touted as a dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy,[2][3] and ended up finishing in eighth place with 55 total points and three first-place votes[4] to become only the second UCF player (after Daunte Culpepper, his future Lions teammate) to receive Heisman votes.

He was also the first consensus All-American from UCF,[5] being selected to almost every 2007 All-American First Team, including's.[6]

College statistics[edit | edit source]

Rushing Receiving
Year Team GP Att Yards Avg TDs Rec Yards TDs
2005 UCF 13 249 1,178 4.7 9 8 44 0
2006 UCF 9 206 934 4.5 7 23 158 0
2007 UCF 14 450 2,567 5.7 29 24 242 1
College Totals 36 905 4,679 5.2 45 55 444 1


Professional career[edit | edit source]

Pre-Draft[edit | edit source]

Smith ran 40-yard dash times of 4.45 and 4.47 seconds at his Pro Day.

He also achieved a 33.5" vertical jump and benched 225 lbs. 15 times. Smith was projected as a third- to fourth-round pick.[8]

Detroit Lions[edit | edit source]

Smith was drafted by the Detroit Lions after they traded up with the Miami Dolphins for the first pick of the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He signed a 3-year, $1.79 million contract on July 22.

After an impressive preseason showing, Smith was named the starting running back for the Lions for the 2008 season. Smith would be backed by former Cincinnati Bengals star running back Rudi Johnson, whom the Lions had signed just days before the first game of the season. Smith was benched after week four and was briefly replaced by Johnson, before winning back the starting spot for the duration of the season.[9]

In 2008, Smith led the Lions in rushing attempts (238), rushing yards (976; fourth in the league among rookie rushers), rushing average (4.1) and rushing touchdowns (8; third-highest tally by a rookie in team history).

In Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams Smith tackled James Butler off an interception in the end zone for a safety after Butler ran out and then ran back in the end zone.

On March 3, 2011, the Lions declined to tender an offer to Smith, making him an unrestricted free agent for the upcoming NFL season.[10] However, on November 7, he was re-signed by Detroit. The move became necessary after Jahvid Best was sidelined following his second concussion of the year.[11] On November 20, Smith ran for 140 yards rushing on 16 carries and 61 yards on four receptions. He ran for two touchdowns and caught another as the Lions came back from a 17-point deficit to defeat the Carolina Panthers 49-35.[12] On November 24, he was carted off the sidelines after a non-contact injury to his lower leg during the second quarter, it was later revealed that he had a mild ankle sprain with an undetermined return date.[13] After missing several games in December, Kevin Smith returned to the field in week 16 of the 2011 season and found the end zone once through the air and once on the ground as the Lions defeated the Chargers 38-10. Smith’s second touchdown, a 6-yard run in the third quarter, gave the Lions 51 touchdowns on the season, establishing a new franchise high. Smith finished the game with 15 carries for 49 yards and two catches for 12 for a combined 61 yards of offense.[14]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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