Former NFL Star Named Distinguished Alumni at Arkansas High
Former Denver Bronco star receiver Rod Smith has been named this year's distinguished alumni by the Texarkana, Ark., School District.
Smith was honored among friends and family on December 17 at the Arkansas High School Red Wall.
Born in May 1970, Rod graduated from Arkansas High School in 1988 where he lettered two years in football and basketball, and one year in baseball. As a senior in football, he was All-League and All-State.
Smith enjoyed a stellar career at Missouri Southern State University, finishing with conference records in career receiving yards and touchdowns. He also broke the school’s reception record and was named first-team All-American after his senior year. In his final season, Smith was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy and named Missouri Southern’s Outstanding Graduate in 1994. He left college with three degrees, economics and finance, general business, and marketing and management.
Smith was signed by the Denver Broncos as a free agent and played his entire career with the team. In 1995, his first NFL catch was a last-minute 43-yard touchdown from John Elway for a 38-31 win against the Washington Redskins. In 14 seasons as an NFL player, Rod had eight seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards and two seasons with at least 100 receptions. His reception total in 2001 led the league. Rod was the starting wide receiver of the Bronco’s back-to-back Super Bowl championships in 1997 and 1998. He was a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2004.
In 2008, Smith announced his retirement. With two Super Bowls, three Pro Bowls, and a controversy-free career noted for professionalism, Rod Smith left the Broncos as one of the well-loved players of all time. In May 2012, it was announced that he would be inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame in his first year of eligibility for the honor.
Rod is currently an entrepreneur in the coffee business and lives in Cherry Hills, Colorado. He has three children, Roderick Smith, Jr., Devin Smith, and Vanessa Smith.