UCF has not held an Athletics Hall of Fame induction event since 2015, when Asante Samuel (Football, 1999-2002), Stephanie Best (Softball, 2002-2005), Dee Brown (Baseball 2002-2005) and the 1978 Volleyball National Championship team were all inducted.
It has given me the idea of which UCF Knights could be honored in the future, either in the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in the future, or if every sport inaugurated a Ring of Honor, like UCF Volleyball does.
In this series, I’m going to break down which alumni should be honored in the future going back to 2006, when UCF joined Conference USA. We start with football, and UCF’s greatest running back.
- UCF’s all-time leading rusher after just three seasons
- Second-team All-Conference USA (2006)
- First-team All-Conference USA (2007)
- C-USA Offensive Player of the Year (2007)
- Consensus All-American (2007)
Smith established new career records with 905 carries for 4,864 yards (5.37 avg) and 45 touchdowns. His 4,864 yards ranks second in Conference USA history, and 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 amassed 2,567 rushing yards, just 62 yards short of Barry Sanders’ NCAA season-rushing record of 2,628, which he set at Oklahoma State in 1988.
Smith finished 8th in Heisman Trophy voting in 2007 after leading the Knights to their first C-USA Championship.
Smith was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played 54 games over five seasons. But his 2,346 career NFL yards was still short of his magical single-season total at UCF.
After hanging up his NFL cleats, Smith went into coaching, latching on with UCF as a grad assistant under George O’Leary. After O’Leary left UCF in 2015, Smith stayed on under Scott Frost as running backs coach, and moved down to FAU to take the same position under Lane Kiffin in 2017.
At FAU, Smith coached Devin Singletary, who became the Owls’ all-time leading rusher under his tutelage, and just declared his eligibility for the NFL Draft.
Singletary’s nickname at FAU was “Motor,” and watching him play, it’s hard not to be reminded of Smith in his days at UCF:
Even at FAU, UCF is not far from 24K’s heart: