Biography: Dennis Smith, S

Dennis Smith
Denver Broncos safety Dennis Smith (49) returns an interception 10 yards during an NFL game against the Los Angeles Raiders in Los Angeles on October 28, 1984. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 22-19. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)
Dennis Smith was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2001, honoring his stellar 14-year career with the club during which he established himself as one of the most feared safeties in the NFL.

A ferocious hitter, Smith was voted to six Pro Bowls (1985-86, ‘89-91, ‘93) that tie for the sixth most by a player in Broncos history.

The four-time All-NFL choice (1985-86, ‘89, ‘93) was a key part of seven playoff teams, five division champions and three Super Bowl teams (XXI in 1986, XXII in ‘87, XXIV in ‘89) with Denver.

Selected by the Broncos in the first round (15th overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft from the University of Southern California, Smith finished his career ranked third all time in games played (184) by a Bronco and fifth in games started (170). He currently ranks sixth in club annals in both categories.

The safety also is one of just four players in the history of the Broncos to play at least 14 seasons with the club. Smith’s 30 career interceptions and 431 career interception return yards both were the fifth-highest totals at the time of his retirement (currently ranked seventh and sixth, respectively).

Smith’s career totals also include 1,171 tackles (794 solo) and 15 sacks. He posted a career-high five sacks in 1983, a career-best five interceptions in ‘91 and a career-high 120 tackles in ‘92.

For his career, Smith recorded five seasons with at least 100 tackles. He was a consensus All-America choice in 1980 as a senior at USC, where he lettered four times in football and three times in track.