"15 For 15" - The 12th Greatest Player in USF Football History Is...

Sorry Hugh, I couldn't even find a picture of you in uniform. I feel like we're doing you wrong here, but at least you made the list. via media.scout.com

 

Hugh Smith, WR/1999-2002

To most Bulls fans, Hugh Smith might just be a name in a record book. If you look in one even today, Smith is still all over the receiving records. Most catches in a season (62 in 2002). Most catches in a career (133). Second all time in receiving yards (1523). Second in most 100-yard games. One of three USF receivers ever to catch at least 10 passes in a single game. (In fact, if you look in the 2001 media guide, they accidentally listed Smith as a senior in the receiver outlook when he was actually a junior.)

 

Quite simply, Smith is the most underrated Bull of all time. Not even in a "everyone knows he was good but he was better than you think" way. I mean like in a "no one even remembers the guy and he was better than you would ever imagine" way. Even my own memory of Smith is pretty hazy - the only person on this entire list I can say that about. But he was a monster and you probably don't even realize it.

 

Smith was one of the first pure speedsters in USF history -- in spring of 2000, USF clocked him with a 4.34 time in the 40. Smith actually started out as a running back during the 1999 season, where he only got 38 carries in a backfield already dominated by Dyral McMillan and Rafael Williams. He moved to wide receiver in 2000, but it wasn't until the next year where Smith's career took off. In Mike Hobbie's offense, Smith turned into the guy who kept the chains moving. Any time Marquel Blackwell really needed a completion, especially in Smith's 62-catch senior year, he was looking for #2. Actually, that's what I remember the most about his career -- Paul Porter saying, "Blackwell's pass is complete to HUUUUUUUUUGH SMITH" after a big third-down conversion. Over and over and over again. That, and his game-winning touchdown on a reverse against Southern Miss in 2002. (I have a tape of this game and at the very end Al Keck talks about how these two teams will be playing each other for years to come. Ah, memories.)

 

Smith was also the first in a line of well-known Bulls who wore #2. Smith had it during his last two years, then DeJuan Green used it for a year. Andre Hall wore it during his two-year rampage, and of course Carlton Mitchell was the last player to wear it. This year the #2 passes on to Quenton Washington, who is considered one of USF's best defensive backs going into the season. We'll see if the magic can carry over to the defense.

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