Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Countdown to the Countdown: #10 (Ben Smith)

Friday, May 29th marks 99 days until Georgia and Oklahoma State kick off their 2009 seasons in Stillwater. Leading up that date, we are counting down the Top 25 UGA football players of the past 25 seasons.
10. Ben Smith, DB (1986-1989)
  • Tied 2nd all-time in UGA history, single-season interceptions: 1989 (10)
  • Tied 4th all-time in UGA history, career interceptions: 13
  • All-SEC: 1988 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 1st team); 1989 (AP 1st team, UPI 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)

In my opinion, Smith was probably the 2nd (or 3rd) best defensive back under Vince Dooley at UGA, even though he is often forgotten when talking about the great defensive players at UGA in the Dooley era. He was also among the most versatile, as a shutdown cornerback who could also step up and play the run if needed. Before his senior season, he was moved from cornerback to free safety, and his interception total actually increased after the move. Coming up with big interceptions in key games were his forte.

Smith was taken in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, and also played for the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals during his pro career.

1 comment:

Bop said...

A precursor to all the big hitting safeties of the 2000's. He really was a stud.