West Orange-Stark standout Kevin Smith selected for College Football Hall of Fame

Published 4:39 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

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Former West Orange-Stark football standout and Texas A&M defensive back — as well as three-time Super Bowl Champion — Kevin Smith was named to the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class.

The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame announced the honor on Monday.

Smith was one of 80 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks being considered.

During his collegiate career, Smith was a consensus First Team All-American after helping lead the Aggies to a Southwest Conference Championship in 1991 and a 1990 Holiday Bowl Championship. He was named the Nation’s Top Defensive Back in 1991 and was a semifinalist for Defensive Player of the Year and the Thorpe Award.

He was a key leader on an Aggies unit that led the nation in total defense (222.4 ypg). The three-time First Team All-SWC performer still stands as A&M’s all-time career leader in interceptions (20), interception return yards (289) and interceptions returned for a touchdown (3). Smith is also credited with breaking up 32 passes in his career, which ranks top-five all-time at A&M.

The 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 66th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 10, 2024, and permanently immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2024 season.

Smith broke onto the scene in Aggieland as a freshman in 1988, when he played for fellow Orange native and A&M coaching legend R.C. Slocum, intercepting two passes and breaking up five others.

The following season, Smith had one of the greatest individual seasons an Aggies player has ever had in the secondary. He totaled 36 tackles (27 of them solos) to go with one forced fumble, nine interceptions and ten passes broken up.

He clinched a season-opening win over LSU, the Aggies first over the Tigers since 1975, with a late game interception-return for a touchdown, 28-17.

Despite the fact that Smith’s reputation should have preceded him, he had another seven interceptions in 1990 as a junior (returning two of them for touchdowns) and broke up eight passes.

In his final campaign, he became a 1991 consensus First Team All-American and leader of an Aggies unit that led the nation in total defense (222.4 yards per game). In the process, the three-time First Team All-Southwest Conference performer helped the Aggies to the 1991 conference title. In addition, Smith was moved to punt returner midway through his senior campaign and returned two kicks for touchdowns.

He is A&M’s all-time career leader in interceptions (20), interception return yards (289) and interceptions returned for a touchdown (3). After his A&M career, he was selected in the first round of the 1992 National Football League draft by the Dallas Cowboys and won three Super Bowls with the franchise in the 1990s.