Career Summary: Had his playing career cut short following a severe neck injury in the 2006 Arkansas State game...Fractured his C5 vertebrae and required surgery but was back on the sidelines encouraging his teammates just four days after surgery...Was one of five true freshmen to see significant action in 2004...Played in all 12 games, logging time in the defensive secondary as well as on special teams...Completed his first season with 15 tackles...Consistent contributor who started nine of the 10 games he played in 2005...Opened the season as the starting right cat safety against Ole Miss...Logged five solo tackles and one quarterback sack against the Rebels...Also grabbed his first career pass interception and returned it seven yards...Aggressive play in the 2005 Motor City Bowl led to seven tackles, a pass breakup and a tackle for lost yardage...Finished the season with 33 solo tackles and 17 assisted tackles to rank fifth on the squad...Made the transition to cat safety and started the first three games of the `06 season in the secondary...Opened the season with five tackles against Ole Miss...Returned the next game to log six stops and a pass breakup versus Chattanooga...Registered a career-high 10 tackles, including seven solo stops, against East Carolina...Made three tackles against ASU before ending his career with a neck injury...Was a vocal leader at practice and games in 2007 while continuing rehabiliation.
Honors: Received the Top Tiger Award at the 2007 team banquet...Presented a True Tiger Award at the `06 Blue-Gray Game...Received a Chris Faros Most Improved Award in spring 2005
Notable: Is expected to graduate in August 2008 with a degree in sport and leisure management.
2005: Consistent contributor for the defense who started nine of the 10 games he played in 2005...Missed the UCF and Houston meetings with a hamstring injury...Opened the season as the starting right cat safety against Ole Miss...Logged five solo tackles and one quarterback sack against the Rebels...Also grabbed his first career pass interception and returned it seven yards...Had two tackles against Chattanooga and six versus Tulsa...Recorded one tackle and his second interception of the season against UTEP...Missed a majority of the second half after pulling his hamstring...Held out of practices and the next two games of the season while recovering from injury...Returned to action against East Carolina and was the Tigers' second-leading tackler with five tackles, all of which were solo stops...Was second on the team in tackles with a career-best nine stops against UAB...Logged six tackles against Tennessee and four versus Southern Miss...Finished the regular season with five tackles against Marshall...Aggressive play in the Motor City Bowl led to seven tackles, and a pass breakup and a tackle for lost yardage...Finished the 2005 season with 33 solo tackles and 17 assisted tackles to rank fifth on the squad...Was presented one of the True Tiger Awards at the 2006 Blue-Gray Game in the spring.
2004: Was one of five true freshmen to see significant action for the Tigers in 2004...Played in all 12 games, logging time in the defensive secondary as well as on special teams...Was one of just two true freshmen to play in the season opener against Ole Miss...Had one tackle in the Memphis victory over the Rebels...Worked as a member of the Tiger special teams and as a defensive back in the Memphis win over Chattanooga, registering a career-high five tackles...Logged three solo stops against the Mocs...Saved two kickoff returns that would have likely been returned for touchdowns had he not caught up with the opposition...Credited with one tackle in the Tigers' win over Arkansas State...Worked as a member of the special teams against UAB...Worked at free safety in the win over Tulane...Had two tackles against the Green Wave...Saw extended duty in the Cincinnati game when Wesley Smith was injured...Logged four tackles, including three solo stops, against the Bearcats...Tallied one tackle in the Louisville game...Worked on special teams in the win over Southern Miss...Played with the Memphis coverage teams in the win over USF...Also saw action in the GMAC Bowl against Bowling Green State...Completed his first season as a Tiger with 15 total tackles...Received one of the Chris Faros Most Improved Awards in spring 2005.
Prep: Was a four-year letterman at Milan High School, suiting up as a safety and as a running back...Named Mr. Football Class 2-A for the state of Tennessee in 2003...Also named as a member of the Associated Press All-State team in 2003...Rushed for 1,921 yards on 220 carries and scored 35 touchdowns in 2003...Credited with 70 tackles, including 51 solo stops, and three pass interceptions...Rushed for 5,174 yards and scored 74 rushing touchdowns during his high school career...Credited with 168 solo tackles, 14 pass interceptions and seven blocked punts over his four year career as a defensive back...Selected to the All-Tennessee 2-A Team in 2002...Lettered in basketball as the center for the Milan squad, and also was an outfielder for the Bulldog baseball team.
Personal: Rod Smith is the son of Eldridge Williams and the nephew of Jackie Williamson...Born May 11, 1985, in Jackson, Tenn.
SMITH'S CAREER DEFENSIVE STATISTICS YR G/S UT AT Tot. PBU Int TFL Sack 2004 12/0 10 5 15 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 2005 10/9 33 17 50 4 2-10 3.5-10 1-7 2006 6/4 13 11 24 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 Total 28/13 56 33 89 5 2-10 3.5-10 1-7