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Virginia Viking

The Beautiful Glider -- All Hail Robert Smith

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miijWxa7XIg

Robert Smith was one of the more frustrating Vikings to me.  Early in his career it seemed that he was always ill or nicked up with injuries and off the field.  Smith admitted years later that he was an active alcoholic during his playing career.  1997, four years after being drafted out of Ohio State, Smith played his first full season as a pro.  When he retired, he was the all-time leading rusher for the Vikings with a 4.8 yards per rush average.  He averaged almost 28 yards per touchdown (he scored 32 in his career.)  This means that he was a threat to take it all the way from anywhere on the field.

The most pleasurable part of watching Robert Smith run was...well, watching Robert Smith run.  He was fast and maybe had the best running form since OJ Simpson.  His long strides made it look like he was gliding.  There was no wasted effort.

Since retiring, Smith went to Medical School and received his medical degree.  He abandoned medical practice to become a college football commentator for ESPN and Fox Sports.  He is known to be a quiet philanthropist...assisting many at risk young people to achieve a college education. Unlike how he played football, running away from the defenders...Robert Smith seems to be taking life head on and winning.  All hail the beautiful glider!

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Almost 900 yards of rushing when only looking at his TD runs. Not bad.

Not bad at all.

It's a shame he didn't play longer. Between the early injuries and his decision to retire he didn't have a super long career, but he was super fun to watch when he was clicking. That whole '98 offense was super fun to watch.

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Posted (edited)

My earliest memory of watching the Vikings was the floppy sock play

 

Edited by Klomp

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2 hours ago, Virginia Viking said:

Since retiring, Smith went to Medical School and received his medical degree. 

I don't think that actually happened. 

He'd taken some pre-med courses in college and talked about going to med school after retiring but as far as I can tell, he never did. 

Smith was my favorite on the 98-era team --  the smart guy interested in medicine. I was hoping to meet him at the 20 year reunion for the 1998 team (went to the event at TCO opening weekend last year), but he was announcing a college game that Saturday and didn't attend. 

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2 hours ago, Cearbhall said:

Almost 900 yards of rushing when only looking at his TD runs. Not bad.

Not bad at all.

It's a shame he didn't play longer. Between the early injuries and his decision to retire he didn't have a super long career, but he was super fun to watch when he was clicking. That whole '98 offense was super fun to watch.

I wonder, if you were to take the best 25 runs of any player's career, who would have the most yardage...

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3 hours ago, Virginia Viking said:

He averaged almost 28 yards per touchdown

This has a lot to do with Leroy Hoard, who no doubt averaged more like 2.8 yards per TD. 

Hoard scored 9 rushing TDs in 1998, Smith 6. Hoard had 10 in 1999, Smith 2. 

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51 minutes ago, Krauser said:

I don't think that actually happened. 

He'd taken some pre-med courses in college and talked about going to med school after retiring but as far as I can tell, he never did. 

Correct. From 5 years ago:

I never worked in medicine, but I worked around it. When I retired I got involved with a company that was doing pharmacy and medical claim analysis. I worked a little bit on the e-commerce side with sales. And actually right now we're working on a community health project with Ohio State and hopefully we'll be launching that this fall.

https://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football/2014/07/37215/an-interview-with-ohio-state-great-robert-smith

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Posted (edited)

I loved Robert Smith, but the thing I found most frustrating about him was his penchant for running out of bounds before he received any contact.  I'm sure he did it to save his body, which certainly is smart for his future life, but I still was frustrated by it at times, because it appeared that he never wanted to take any contact at all, period, even when it would have gotten him a few extra yards and make it a little easier to get a first down.   

Edited by swede700

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On 6/5/2019 at 3:49 PM, Krauser said:

He'd taken some pre-med courses in college and talked about going to med school after retiring but as far as I can tell, he never did. 

wasn't he big in to astrophysics too?

@Heimdallr ??

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