Justin Smith inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 10:04:00 PM CST January 26, 2020 in Sports
By: Jack Soble, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer

SPRINGFIELD - Former Jefferson City High School, University of Missouri and NFL star defensive end Justin Smith has been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in Springfield.

Smith played seven years with the Cincinnati Bengals and seven years with the San Francisco 49ers. He was taken by the Bengals with the fourth overall pick in 2001, joining offensive lineman Russ Washington (picked fourth overall in 1968) as the highest drafted Missouri football players ever.

His early selection was well-earned, as Smith was a two-time first-team All-Big 12 defensive end with 22.5 sacks over the course of his 3-year career. After his incredible junior season, during which he totaled 11 sacks, he was a first-team All-American.

After seven solid seasons for the Bengals, Smith's career took off once he signed with the 49ers as a free agent in 2008. He was selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls, from 2009 to 2013, and named a first-team All-Pro in 2011 and 2012. Smith finished as high as third in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.

In San Francisco, Smith was a critical component of the dominant 49ers defenses, along with linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. He retired from the NFL in 2015, finishing his career with 87 sacks.

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