I GET IT
Question about M receiving great Jim Smith
Try looking him up, I'm sure he's listed.
Like i said did a google search. Nothing but his football info.
google 'jim smith' and get about 5,000,000 hits...
No, but indeed he was a very talented receiver at UM. One of my early UM football memories was Smith catching a TD pass from running back Gordon Bell in the 1975 Michigan-Ohio State game.
He did some of the commercials for them shortly before they shut down.
From Linkedin it appears he is now managing a Toyota dealership in Louisiana.
He was a great receiver, also had some success running reverses and returning punts at UM. He was a little unfortunate being with the Steelers when they had Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, so it took a while before he got some opportunities.
He was the same class that I was and he was with the Steelers at the same time I was living in Pittsburgh for a couple years (as was RB Russell Davis who was 2 classes behind). I ran into him at a jazz club in Pittsburgh in the early 80's.
I haven't been able to turn up much either, but it should be noted that in his NFL career, he was the third WR behind Lynn Swann and John Stallworth even after his very notable Michigan career, during which he was an all-American in 1976, if I am not mistaken. With the Birmingham Stallions in the USFL, he was a consistent top producer on offense for the three seasons he was with them.
He was also a very good basketball player. I believe he was from Chicago.
Jim Smith was from Blue Island, Illinois, at least that's what Bob Ufer always told me. Jim Smith was a fantastic football player, but was somewhat obscured because he was followed by Anthony Carter.
listing the top 10. as a side issue, note the difference in uniform colors and even with the helmet, how much more 'wing' there is in older helmets.
There was Jim Smith back when a forward pass was rarely thrown. Bo did not do passing except to keep the safeties honest. Smith was a fearless punt/kick off returner.
Sadly for me as great as his career was, the memory that remains burned into my brain when the name Jim Smith is mentioned is not a good one. Ranked #1 in the country where they had been for the past 8 weeks, Michigan got into a dogfight at Purdue and trailed 16-14 with time running out when Smith got behind the secondary and Ricky Leach dropped a pass right on the money that sadly Smith dropped. Later in the game we missed (allegedly) a game winning field goal that at least Bob Ufer thought was good and Michigan suffered their first defeat of the season.
1976 ... I remember the call from Ufer ... "The kick is up ... it's ... no good ... no good ... no good." I was sitting in the back of my parents' care listening to Ufer on the radio.
I remember Jim Smith well ... I loved him at Michigan, and followed him as he went to Pittsburgh.
Jim Smith dropped the ball right in front of us, he had 5 yards on the cornerback, and the safety had no angle. Leach put it over his right shoulder (he was running down the left sideline), and the ball went right through his hands. The image is burned in my memory. We had been battling all game against a Purdue offense featuring some running back named Dirking (Scott?), who ran for like 200 yards on us, and Jim's catch was going to put is all right. Sigh.
geez... how long did you hold him hostage in Costco?
See him there every other Sunday like clockwork right when it opens. I know his son too so usually that's what we talk about.
I thought you meant that it was a chance encounter with a Michigan qb. Like your first and only time meeting him.
Career stats for Jim Smith while at Michigan:
*411 rushing yards and a touchdown
*1,687 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns.
*264 kickoff return yards
*525 punt return yards
I wish I had some footage to upload of him but there were so few games televised in the 70's. And I have no personal memories of him since I wans't born until 5 years after he graduated.
He was an electrifying player. To add to the stats that Wolverine Historian posted, over his career he averaged 7 ypc rushing and 23.1 ypc in receiving, yet he often only touched the ball on offense 2 or 3 times per game. Everybody knew he was the best athlete on the field almost every time out, and it was incredibly frustrating to see him so little used..
The yards-per-catch number is amazing. In that era, I would've expected 2.31 instead.
Would you possibly been at a Costco in Cincy? If so, you may have spoken with my best friend's father.
The frustration was over how seldom he was thrown to, even though everybody in the damn stadium could tell he was a great receiving talent. He had 73 catches for 1687 in four seasons, while Carter had 161 for over 3000 yards. It was just his "misfortune" to have played during a time when the option offense was in place, and the emphasis was heavily on the running game. If he'd been on the team after Michigan had transitioned to a more balanced attack several years later, he would have been thrown to much more frequently.
You must have been speaking with either Elzinga or Leach.
Not sure how many mid-70's QB's live there, but if he was in Cincinnati my guess is Ceddia.
In those days we would run many plays with Smith being the only non-TE receiver on the field. And of course the vast majority of those plays he would be blocking. Our running game was so powerful, Bo just didn't see the need to throw often. When he did, Smith would frequently get a big gain because the other team was so geared up to stop the run. Great player though.
Quite simply, one of the best offensive weapons of the Schembechler era. Among the Big Ten's best pass catchers of his day; an even better runner with the ball and blocked the way that Bo Schembechler demanded.
Oh, and this: All-American.
....my mom dated Jim for a while and I can remember him picking me up after school at St. Thomas in his letter jacket. I'll ask but am pretty certain she hasnt spoken to Jim in decades.
Hopefully, they are better than your spelling skills (not referring to skilz).
Bo would occasionally call a reverse where the QB would pitch the ball towards the running back, but the WR would catch it going the other direction. Jim Smith was the WR and it would typically result in a solid gain.
Smith had good size and was quite an athlete. He was preceded by another good receiver, named Gil Chapman. Chapman wasn't as big, but was another really good athlete. I think they used to refer to the position they often played as a "wing back."
Because he was a bit smallish, they put him at wingback. He also ran back punts and kickoffs. Very fast guy. Because they did not throw all that much they sometimes lined up Smith at wingback also and handed the ball off to him on running plays. But Smith was first and foremost a wide receiver.
Ralph Clayton was also a great wide receiver at the time who played with Smith.
Ralph Clayton was sort of the last in that line of early-Schembechler wingbacks. Like Smith, Clayton had size and speed. I think Clayton may have been a state hurdle and/or sprint champ at Detroit Redford. Phenomenal athlete; played for the (then-St. Lous) Cardinals. But by the end of Ralph's time at Michigan, the recieving targets had become WR (the young Anthony Carter) and TE (Senior Doug Marsh).
As I recall, he was about 6-3 and 195 or 200 range.
While you’re at it can you have her confirm if Jim’s hands where as soft as everyone says?
I cut my teeth on Michigan football starting in 1973 with Denny Franklin and Mike Landry, and I really hit my stride with the 1976 team with Ricky Leach and Jim Smith. I can still name the entire starting defensive lineup for 1976 ("Anderson, Morton, Lang, Hennessey, Todesco, Vogely, O'Neil, Bolden, Howard, Hicks and Zuver."). I had a football on which I wrote in pen the score of each game Michigan played, along with the attendance.
I bled Michigan blue then, and still do. I have never waivered. Go Blue!
he became a deputy Washtenaw County Sheriff. For several years, he went to the local grade schools to speak to the kids re the role of the police in the community etc. He was always a big hit. Not sure if he is still in law enforcement or not.
You have to add in Pittsburgh WR Theo Bell to that cast as well.
You would have needed 3 or 4 Charles Woodsons in order to lock that down. Most NFL teams at the time could not stop them.
My opinion: They all made Terry Bradshaw look like some kind of genius in throwing accuracy.
Jim,had he been on the field with an offense geared just a bit toward passing, may have very well been an AA for more than just one season. Leach actually had a good arm but threw lasers, not unlike Denard and often times off the mark because let's face it, it was just not that much of the game plan and they didn't do much work on their passing attack. I think Jim's total career catches that were later passed by some of our other great receivers in one season alone should tell you how special he was to be able to garner AA honors in that system. If he had been coupled with Harbaugh, our first pro type qb under Bo, his numbers would have been far greater. Hell, had he been coupled with Wangler, as was AC, although his numbers would not have surpassed that legend, his stats would have earned him a lot more money on signing day. Much like I think that Harbaugh led the way for our great run of pro qbs, although there was some time between him and the next to go to the league, I would place Jim in the same category at the wr position. I believe he's the one that opened the door for those that followed, allowing them to realize being a wr at UM was not automatically a disqualification for NFL Draft Day, and I think that is his greatest contribution. He was truly a great one.