Emmitt Smith is the all time leading rusher in NFL History with 18,355 yards in his career! He will soon be featured on the new TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” debuting on NBC March 5th, 2010. There has been much written concerning Emmitt Smith not just because of his record setting ways, but in the world of seamy athletic stars he seems to be a shining light. His life up until this point has been both spectacular in accomplishments and yet filled with service and hope. I am looking forward to see where his family roots take us.
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Emmitt Smith's Early Years
15 May 1969 | Pensacola, FL
Emmitt or "Scoey" as he has been known by the Smith family from the beginning was born on May 15th, 1969 in Pensacola, Florida. He was the third Emmit Smith and at a very early age he added another T to the end of his first name delineating it from his father’s and grandfather’s. He has kept that extra T on there his entire life. Emmitt was 1 of 5 children and is described as being an honest caring boy who’s interest in football superseded just about everything else in life except family. Smith's Mother Mary used to turn the TV channel to a football game when he was little to calm him. He started playing organized football when he was 7 in the mini-might division of the Salvation Army Optimists League. Emmitt focused on football while other kids were getting into trouble with gangs, drugs, and anything else that would ruin their lives. Asked once how he avoided all of those problem situations Smith got a strange look in his eyes and said it had never occurred to him to get involved with them.
Emmitt's High School Dreams
1983 | Pensacola, FL
When High School football began it was at Escambia. They had not had a winning season for the previous 21 years. Coach Dwight Thomas took over the year that Emmitt began as a freshman. The coach was depressed over the losing environment that existed. Kids were goofing around and not taking anything seriously. He noticed one kid who was dressed neatly and confident. The freshman was Emmitt Smith and Coach Thomas soon found out that to win alls he had to do was get the ball into Emmitt's hands of. They went on in the next four years to win two state championships and their four year record ended up at 42-7. EMMITT would be ranked as the second highest yardage gainer in high-school history while rushing for 8,804 yards.
Emmitt Smith as a Gator
1987 | Gainesville, Florida
His next 3 years as a University of Florida Gator would show that as players came out of high school and disappeared into division 1 football Emmitt would not be one. He kept his star status and at the end of his 1st year was only the second freshman in history to be in the top 10 for Heisman consideration. What’s interesting is that to most of the scouts he was not considered a top college or pro prospect. He was too short, not strong enough, not fast enough. The University of Florida however, recognized his talent. In his very first game as a freshman at Florida, Smith gained 224 yards on 39 carries, which was a single game rushing record at the university. By the end of his junior year he had been named to the All American and All-Southeast Conference teams 3 times. EMMITT SMITH had set 58 school records many of which still exist. Also, at the end of his junior year he opted for the pros and was the 12th pick in the draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
Emmitt Smith Becomes a Dallas Cowboy
1990 | Dallas, TX
From the time he was a little boy Emmitt had dreamed of one day playing for the Dallas, Cowboys. Who would have guessed that he would actually fulfill that dream in such a spectacular manner? The owner Jerry Jones had made the mistake of saying that he had actually seen Emmitt as the number 4 pick. Since that was said Emmitt held out through the entire training camp for a better contract. The Cowboys had just come off of a 1-15 season. Could Emmitt turn a team around like he did in High-School? He became the starting running back for Dallas two games into the season and managed 937 yards rushing as a rookie. He was named offensive rookie of the year and was just beginning. In his next season he became the youngest player to run for over 1.500 yards in a season. Their record that year was 11-5 and they won their first playoff game with Chicago.
In just his third year as a pro the Dallas Cowboys compiled a 13-3 record and beat the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl 52-17. EMMITT SMITH was the first Dallas Cowboy ever to rush for over 100 yards in a Super Bowl. The next year in 1993 he again had a dispute over a new contract and missed training camp. Emmitt played through the end of the season with a nagging hamstring injury and then in the NFC championship game he separated his shoulder in the first half but basically told them they could pull him out when he collapsed. He continued to play through the second half and the Cowboys went on beat the New York Giants in overtime 16-13. With a 132 yard 2 touchdown performance Smith lead the Cowboys to a 38-21 super bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers and received his first League and Super Bowl MVP Awards.
I could go on about his pro career but instead I will list his major awards. Throughout Emmitt Smith's pro career he received following awards; NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year , 1990; All-Rookie Team, 1990; Pro Bowl 1991-1992; NFC rushing leader 1992-94; NFL MVP 1994; MVP Super Bowl XXVIII, 1994.
He has three Super Bowl Rings and is the NFL's all-time rushing leader with 18,355 yards.
Emmitt Smith Personal and Post Football
2005 | Dallas, TX
Emmitt Smith married former Miss Virginia USA beauty queen and comedian/actor Martin Lawrence's former wife Patricia Southall on April 22, 2000. He has one stepdaughter Jasmine Page Lawrence and then a son Emitt IV born in 2002 and a daughter Skyler born in 2003. Smith also has a daughter Rheagen by ex-girlfriend Hope Wilson. He and his wife with 4 children live in Dallas, Texas.
Emmitt finished his college in 1996 in Public Recreation from the University of Florida. He officially retired from football and the Dallas Cowboys in 2005. He has been a studio analyst for the NFL Network, a Monday Night Football and Sports Center announcer and in 2006 he won the DANCING WITH THE STARS competition. People have been critical of things that he has said and his articulation. However, he has risen to the occasion and has continued to deliver in whatever role he plays in life. He has had a HALL OF FAME CAREER!