Riley Smith (American football)

Riley Smith (American Football)

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Riley Smith (American football)

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Riley Henry Smith (July 14, 1911 – August 9, 1999) was an American football quarterback in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins. He was the second player taken in the 1936 NFL Draft and was the first player that was signed from the draft that played in the NFL. He played college football at the University of Alabama.

Early life

Smith was born in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1911. He originally attended and played high school football at Greenwood High School, but then moved to Columbus, Mississippi and played at Columbus High School.

College career

Smith attended and played college football at the University of Alabama, where he was a quarterback, but could also block, punt, kick extra points and boot field goals. In 1935, he was part of the team that won the Rose Bowl, was named an All-American teams, and also won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best blocker in the Southeastern Conference. Smith played in the East-West Shrine Game and the College All-Star Game.

Professional career

Smith was the second player drafted (behind Jay Berwanger) in the first ever NFL Draft. In 1936-37 he missed only three minutes in 26 Redskin games, but an injury ended his playing career early.

After football

After retirement, Smith became a football coach at Washington and Lee University, where he...
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