Kevin Smith is hands down the most prolific offensive player to ever suit up for the UCF Knights and one of the greatest running backs in college football this century.
So why isn’t he in the College Football Hall of Fame?
In 2007, Smith rushed for 2,567 yards and 29 touchdowns on 450 attempts. His 450 attempts are the most all-time in a single season while his 2,567 yards ranks third and his 29 touchdowns are tied for sixth most in a season. That season, Smith was a Consensus All-American, C-USA Player of the Year, First Team All-C-USA selection, and eighth in the Heisman voting.
In his 36 games played at UCF, Smith rushed for 100+ yards 22 times, rushed for 200+ yards 6 times, and had multiple touchdowns 12 times. His best career game came against UAB in 2007 where he rushed for 320 yards on 41 attempts with 4 touchdowns. Three games later he would rush for 284 yards on 39 attempts with 4 touchdowns in a 44-25 win over Tulsa that gave UCF their first conference championship.
Smith first became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2017, meeting the 10-year requirement as well as the First Team All-America recognition requirement. Every other eligible running back who is in the top-10 for single season rushing yards has already been inducted (Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, Troy Davis, and LaDainian Tomlinson). Even Darren McFadden, who played the same three seasons as Smith and had less rushing attempts, yards, and touchdowns, has already been inducted.
The Hall also states that a candidate must have “proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and fellow man.” Well, after playing five seasons in the NFL, Smith has gone on to become a college coach, first at UCF before going to FAU and now Ole Miss as running backs coach. I would say that definitely “carries the ideals of football forward” in my opinion.
The 2022 Hall of Fame ballot has already been released and Kevin’s name is not on the list, but I hope this can serve as a wake-up call for when the 2023 ballot is being put together. There should be no doubt that Kevin Smith is not only worthy of the Hall of Fame, but one of the best running backs to ever suit up and play the game of college football. It’s time for the selection committee to recognize that.