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Tuesday December 5, 2006Emmitt Smith Inducted Into 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Class

New York

Former University of Florida running back Emmitt Smith was inducted into the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Division I-A Class as part of the 49th Annual Award Dinner on Tuesday night at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.  Members of the class will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind., during ceremonies in the summer of 2007.

“Football is the game of life,” Smith said. “There are so many lessons to be learned in football about teamwork, work ethic and other things. Football translates into real life. You want to win the game for one another. Racism does not exit on the football field. There are so many integral parts of the game. It’s me protecting my brother, and my brother protecting me out there.”

Smith became the seventh player or head coach from the University of Florida to be honored joining Dale Van Sickel (E) (inducted 1975), Steve Spurrier (QB) (inducted 1986), Jack Youngblood (DE) (inducted 1992), Charles Bachman (1928-32) (inducted 1978), Ray Graves (1960-69) (inducted 1990) and Doug Dickey (1970-78) (inducted 2003).  

An elite running back with all-worldly talent on both collegiate and professional levels, Smith ran to national prominence in 1987, and by 1989, was a Florida legend.

A unanimous First Team All-America selection, Smith finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1989 and ninth in 1987.  A three-time First Team All-Southeastern Conference pick, he was named SEC Player of the Year in 1989 and Freshman of the Year in 1987. 

A member of the UF Ring of Honor and the Team of the Century, Smith broke 58 school records en route to rushing for 3,928 yards and 36 touchdowns in only three seasons.  In his award-laden junior year, he rushed for 1,599 yards and 16 scores.  Drafted in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, Smith enjoyed 15 seasons in the NFL with the Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals.  Upon retirement, he was the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with over 18,000 career yards, 164 touchdowns and three Super Bowl rings.

Extremely devoted to his charities, Smith works with children through several organizations, including the Open Doors Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army and “Just Say No” anti-drug campaigns among many others.  Currently, he resides in Dallas, Texas.

Smith was one of five names that appeared on the ballot for the first time, joining Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Chad Hennings (Air Force), Ahmad Rashad (Oregon) and Bruce Smith (Virginia Tech).

To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a First-Team All-America by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams, played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior, played within the last 50 years and be retired from playing professional football. Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach, won at least 60 percent of their games and be retired from coaching.  In both cases, the candidate’s post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.

Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight District Screening Committees, depending on their geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts.  Each year, 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year.



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