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Malcolm Smith
refer to caption
Smith with the Oakland Raiders in 2015
No. 51 – San Francisco 49ers
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1989-07-05) July 5, 1989 (age 28)
Woodland Hills, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Woodland Hills (CA) Taft
College: USC
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 7 / Pick: 242
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2017
Total tackles: 354
Sacks: 6.0
Forced fumbles: 9
Fumble recoveries: 2
Interceptions: 4
Defensive touchdowns: 2
Player stats at

Malcolm Xavier Smith[1] (born July 5, 1989) is an American football linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). Smith played college football at USC. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Smith was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVIII after they defeated the Denver Broncos.

Early years[edit]

Smith was born in Woodland Hills, California. He attended William Howard Taft High School, where he was a letterman in football and track.[2] In football, he was named to the Student Sports Sophomore All-American and Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team as a 2004 sophomore when he had 800-plus yards of total offense and 8 touchdowns, plus 2 interceptions, as Taft won the L.A. City title. As a junior in 2005, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, All-L.A. City first team and Los Angeles Daily News All-Area first team while making 41 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 fumble recovery, plus running for 639 yards on 73 carries (8.8 avg.) with 10 touchdowns and catching 27 passes for 411 yards (15.2 avg.) with 7 scores as Taft was the L.A. City runnerup. In his final year in 2006, he had 31 tackles, 10 sacks, and four fumble recoveries at linebacker and ran for 919 yards on 118 carries with 15 touchdowns as a running back, despite missing the first half of the season with a leg injury.[3]

Also a standout track athlete, Smith competed as a sprinter for the Taft High track & field team. He qualified for the Los Angeles City Section T&F Championships in the 100m and 200m dashes. He recorded a personal-best time of 10.8 seconds in the 100-meter dash as a junior, and got a PR of 22.39 seconds in the 200-meter dash as a senior. He also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds.[3]

College career[edit]

Smith at USC in 2008

Smith enrolled at the University of Southern California (USC) in order to play college football for the USC Trojans football team. As a true freshman in 2007, Smith played in all 13 games as a backup linebacker and special teams player. He finished the year with six tackles and a forced fumble. As a sophomore in 2008 he again spent time as a backup and on special teams. He finished the season with 18 tackles in 13 games.[3] In the 2009 game against cross-town rival UCLA Bruins, Smith led the Trojan defense for a 28–7 win. Smith returned the first UCLA interception 62 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. For his play, Smith was awarded the "Legend Nike Game Ball" for the National Defensive Player of the Week.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Smith was drafted with the 242nd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks,[5] reuniting him with his former USC head coach Pete Carroll.

On January 19, 2014, Smith caught a game-ending interception in the end zone, tipped by Richard Sherman, in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, the interception ensured the Seahawks' second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.[4]

On February 2, 2014, during the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII, Smith intercepted a pass from Peyton Manning and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown to make the score 22–0; this was Smith's fourth interception in the last five games, and the second interception returned for a touchdown. Later in that game, Smith recovered a fumble by wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. He won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award in recognition of his contributions to the Seahawks' victory, becoming the first defensive player to win the award since Dexter Jackson in Super Bowl XXXVII.[6]

Despite being the Super Bowl MVP, Smith returned to a reserve role as the fourth starter for the 2014 NFL season, starting only five games for the Seahawks during the season, because of the Seahawk's depth in linebackers, which consisted of Bruce Irvin, K. J. Wright and Bobby Wagner who missed only six games (compared to missing a combined ten games including a playoff contest in the 2013 season).[7] The Seahawks again returned to the Super Bowl but lost to the New England Patriots 28-24.[8]

Oakland Raiders[edit]

On March 10, 2015, Smith signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Oakland Raiders reuniting him with defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., who was the Seahawks' linebackers coach from 2010-2014.[9][10] In the 2015 season, Smith set career highs in sacks, games started and tackles; his 122 tackles led the Raiders and nearly doubled his career total.[11]

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

On March 9, 2017, Smith signed a five-year, $26.5 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers.[12] Smith suffered a torn pectoral during training camp and was ruled out for the season.[13]

Career statistics[edit]

2011 SEA 12 16 10 6 1.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 SEA 16 22 12 10 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
2013 SEA 15 54 34 20 1.0 1 0 0 2 69 37 1 4
2014 SEA 14 38 27 10 0.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2015 OAK 16 122 99 23 4.0 2 0 0 1 27 27 0 6
2016 OAK 15 103 86 17 0.0 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 3
Career 88 355 269 86 6.0 9 3 8 4 96 37 1 16


Personal life[edit]

Smith's brother Steve Smith also attended USC from 2003 to 2006 and played wide receiver for the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and the St. Louis Rams.[15]

Smith has achalasia, a rare disorder of esophagus which affects its ability to move food toward the stomach. It started to affect him around the time of the 2009 Rose Bowl, where he began losing a few pounds of body weight each week because food would get stuck in his esophagus and he would have to throw it up. The weight loss was a problem as Smith tried to keep his weight up to 230 pounds (100 kg). Originally diagnosed as acid reflux, further tests revealed the problem as achalasia. Smith underwent a surgical procedure called a Heller myotomy which helped somewhat, but he still has dietary restrictions that force him to eat very slowly.[16]


External links[edit]


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