One of the most electrifying runners in Vol history, Smith was a top-quality weapon. He just wasn't a top-quality person. He was dismissed from the UT program in 2000 following a string of off-field incidents that included several failed drug tests.
Smith eventually resurfaced at the University of Oregon, where he performed so impressively that the Vikings tabbed him in Round 4 of the 2003 NFL Draft. He rushed for 579 yards in his debut season, including a 148-yard performance against the Chicago Bears that set a franchise rookie record.
Despite sitting out a four-game suspension, Smith ran for a team-best 544 yards in 2004.
Last May Smith was caught by airport security with a device designed to beat drug tests and several vials of dried urine. Undaunted, he continued his reckless ways. A month later the NFL handed him a one-year suspension following a third violation of the league's substance abuse policy. That suspension was due to end June 7 of this year but the Vikings decided to sever their ties with him prior to this weekend's NFL Draft.
At age 25, Smith should be entering his prime as a pro running back. Instead, he's probably entering the post-football phase of his life.
What a tragic waste of talent.