Robert Smith

Pro Bowl Running Back

Robert Smith is a former NFL running back for the Minnesota Vikings (1993-2000) and two-time Pro Bowler (1998, 2000). His career with the Vikings earned him a spot on the 50 Greatest Vikings list.

Smith played at Ohio State, where he ran for 1,945 yards in two seasons (1990 and 1992). He sat out the 1991 to pursue track and field before head coach John Cooper allowed him to return to football the following year.

Smith was selected 21st overall in the 1993 draft by the Vikings. He had his breakout season in 1997 when he rushed for 1,266 yards. In his final season, Smith led the NFC in rushing yards with 1,521. The versatile Smith finished his career with 6,818 rushing yards, 32 rushing touchdowns, 1,292 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. Smith is second in career rushing yards for Minnesota behind Adrian Peterson. He also holds the NFL record for average yards per touchdown run at 27.2.

After his retirement, Smith appeared on various ESPN programs as a college football analyst. He left ESPN for Fox Sports, where he has been an analyst since 2016.

Smith was raised in Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He attended Euclid High School and became the first player to win Ohio’s “Mr. Football Award” twice (1988, 1989). Smith now resides in Texas.