Drafted: Alex Smith becomes first ever No. 1 overall pick from the U

By and

Alex Smith set his final record as a Ute Saturday by becoming the first-ever No. 1 NFL draft pick from the U.

Jordan Gross was selected as the eighth overall pick in 2003, the previous high for players from the U, and Kevin Dyson was taken No. 16 overall in 1998, but no Ute had ever been taken first-until now.

Smith had one of the best seasons in the history of the U last year, and many accredit the success of the football team more to the amazing play of Smith than to the coaching style used by former coach Urban Meyer.

During his junior year (’04-’05) Smith passed for 2,952 yards, 32 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He was named MWC Offensive Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated Player of the Year and Sporting News Player of the Year after leading the Utes to their first-ever BCS Bowl and a No. 4 national ranking-the highest ranking ever achieved by the Utes.

As a two-year starter at the U, Smith compiled a record of 21-1. He earned his bachelor’s degree in his first two years at the U and attended a year of graduate school, but still had one more year of NCAA eligibility remaining when he made the decision to enter the draft.

Smith is the fifth-straight quarterback to be drafted No. 1 overall in the NFL draft. The others were Eli Manning (2004), Carson Palmer (2003), David Carr (2002) and Michael Vick (2001).

[email protected]