45 Days to Miami football: Darrin Smith 2-time All-American

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 12: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 12: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Linebacker Darrin Smith was a two-time All-American and two-time National Champion during his tenure with the Miami football team from 1988-92.

Darrin Smith made a huge impact on the Miami football program from 1988-1992. After redshirting as a true freshman in 1988, Smith joined the active roster for the Miami football team and was a part of the 1989 National Championship. Smith is fourth in Miami history with 401 career tackles despite no seasons in the top 10.

Smith is a Miami native and alum of Norland High School. The final three seasons of his Hurricanes career, Smith was one-third of the LB corps with Jessie Armstead and Micheal Barrow known as the Bermuda Triangle. With those three anchoring the Miami defense from 1990-1992, the Hurricanes finished 33-3.

Miami finished ninth, first and fifth in scoring defense with Smith, Amstead and Barrow starting at LB. The Hurricanes allowed an average of 12.3 points per game during those three seasons. Following their 1990 loss to Notre Dame, Miami went on a 29 game winning streak, not losing again until the 1993 Sugar Bowl.

The loss to the Crimson Tide cost Miami the 1992 National Championship. Miami won the 1991 National Championship with a 22-0 shutout of Nebraska in the 1992 Orange Bowl. The Cornhuskers were third in the nation in scoring offense in 1991 averaging 37.8 PPG. That was the first time Nebraska was shutout in 18 years.

Miami held the Cornhuskers to 171 total yards. Smith was named the 1991 Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Big East and Second-Team All-American in 1991 and 1992. Smith was also a two-Butkus Award Semifinalist honoring the best LB in the nation.

Smith was chosen 54th overall by Jimmy Johnson and the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the NFL Draft. Named all-rookie in 1992, Smith played on the Cowboys Superbowl XXVIII and XXX Superbowl Champions. Smith is believed to be the only player to ever win to college and NFL championships.

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An elite LB for the Miami football program and University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame member, Darrin Smith is the best player to wear number 45 in Hurricanes history.