99 Warriors: No. 26, Thousand-Yard Rusher and First Round Draft Choice Robert Smith

By David Wertheim on August 6, 2018 at 8:05 am
No. 26 Robert Smith

We're counting down the days to kickoff with “99 Warriors,” the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes by jersey number, as voted by the staff of Eleven Warriors.

No. 26 Robert Smith

One of the best "athletes" to put on an Ohio State uniform, the blazing fast Smith was a star in his two seasons for the Buckeyes.

HB Robert Smith

1990, 92
b. March 4, 1972

  • First freshman at OSU to rush for over 1,000 yards
  • First-round NFL Draft Choice
  • Two-time Pro Bowler

Smith was one of four freshman to have 1,000 yards in his freshman season, and the first ever to do so. Maurice Clarett, Mike Weber, and J.K. Dobbins all repeated the feat for themselves.

After taking a year off from football to focus on track and field, in which he ran a 10.24 100-meter dash, he returned to the gridiron in 1992 and rushed for 819 yards.

Smith was selected in the first round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, for whom he played eight seasons.

Smith was a two-time Pro Bowl selection (1998, 2000) and a one-time second team All-Pro member (2000). Ironically, his best season was his last, as he rushed for 1,521 yards and seven touchdowns, in addition to the accolades mentioned. 

Due to a desire to keep himself healthy and safe for the future, Smith stepped away from the NFL after just eight seasons. Now, he is an analyst for ESPN and the NFL Network.

View 31 Comments