84 Days to Miami football: Willie Smith record setting TE

9 Oct 1999: . Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport
9 Oct 1999: . Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport /

Tight end Willie Smith set the single-season record for the Miami football team with 66 receptions that stood until 2010 and still holds the single-game record with 12 receptions he also set in 1984.

Willie Smith is arguably the best tight end in the history of the Miami football program. Smith left Miami as the all-time leader with 117 receptions and was second with 1,544 receiving yards. Those were also the all-time records for a TE in Miami history that were not broken until Clive Walford had 121 receptions and 1,753 yards.

Walford set the Miami standard for TEs from 2011-14. Smith concluded his Miami football career in 1984. Smith still holds the Hurricanes record for receptions in a game with 12 against Maryland in 1984. Smith was a favorite target of Miami quarterbacks Bernie Kosar and Vinnie Testaverde.

Smith led Miami in receptions in 1984 and 1985. Future Pro Bowl WRs Eddie Brown and Michael Irvin were the second leading receivers for Miami in ’85 and ’86. Smith leading Miami in receptions those two seasons are a testament to the type of reliable receiver he was in the Miami passing game for Kosar and Testaverde.

Smith played with Miami on the 1985 and ’87 Fiesta Bowl and 1986 Sugar Bowl teams. His stellar 1985 sophomore season garnered Smith a nod as a consensus All-American. After recording only three receptions for 23 yards as a junior in 1986, Smith decided to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

Smith was a 10th round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in 1987. After being cut in Cleveland, Smith played his only NFL season with the Miami Dolphins as a rookie in 1987. Smith had two receptions for 13 yards, one of which went for a touchdown. Smith’s name is all over the Miami record books.

Next. 85 Days to Miami football: WR Leonard Hankerson. dark

In addition to the already mentioned records, Smith had 11 receptions in a game in 1984 against Florida. At 6’2, 235 pounds with the ability to get open in the middle of the field and be a mismatch for linebacker or safeties, Smith was the first true great TE at TE U.