A Day in History | Stevonne smith

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May 12, 1979, in Los Angeles, Stevonne Latrall Smith was born. At school, he was the star of a football team, shone in athletics competitions. After graduating, Smith entered Santa Monica Community College, where he played along with another future NFL star Chad Johnson, better known as Chad Ochosinko. Both talents were prone to shocking and their coach even advised players not to celebrate touchdowns. At the same time, it was precisely at the insistence of the coach that Smith devoted a lot of time to study and two years later transferred to the University of Utah.

As part of the UTS, Steve played two more seasons, setting a program record for the average number of yards per reception - 20.6. The scouts of the NFL clubs began to show interest in him and in the draft pick of 2001 he was chosen in the third round by Carolina. In the first draw of his first game at a professional level, Smith returned the initial blow to the test zone, and in all in the debut season he scored 1994 yards, most of them on returns.

In 2002, he became a player in the starting lineup, but the season was overshadowed by a number of conflicts with partners. In November, Smith had a fight with Anthony Bright, broke one of his bones and even managed to sit under arrest. The club cost one-match disqualification. In 2003, Steve returned, for the first time in his career, scored over 1,000 yards and helped Panthers go to Super Bowl XXXVIII.

He missed the 2004 season, having received a broken leg in the opening match. Having recovered, Smith again gave out a fantastic season, becoming the best in the NFL in terms of the number of receptions, yards and touchdowns at the reception. At the end of the season, he received the Return of the Year award, sharing it with the Patriots line-up Tedi Brusky. Injuries from time to time interfered with Steve and further, but five more times he scored over 1000 yards per season. Five times he was one of the participants in Probowl and twice got into the first All-Pro team. He played for Panthers until December 2013, when he received another injury. In March, the club expelled Smith, and he promised a meeting in person to take revenge on the former team.

He signed a three-year contract with Ravens. The meeting with Carolina was not long in coming - the teams played against each other in the fourth week of the 2014 season. Steve scored 139 yards with two touchdowns, and Baltimore won 38-10. He worked the contract with the club to the end. Smith officially ended his career in January 2017. For sixteen years in the league he made 1031 tackles for 14731 yards. He scored another 1001 yards in the playoff matches.

After completing his career, Steve settled in Charlotte and went into business. He has four sons. He devotes a lot of time to charity. In 2019, Smith took part in an exhibition game as part of a stellar weekend in the NBA. Despite not the most beautiful parting with the Panthers, in July 2019, Steve Smith was elected to the Franchise Hall of Honor.
Jimmy
American Football Writer

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