After redshirting in 2009, Smith simply led the Cardinals with 88 tackles, including six tackles for loss and in doing so earned the Big East's Defensive "Rookie of the Year." While Smith's tackle numbers slipped slightly (84 tackles) in 2011, he developed into much more of a reliable defender in coverage, seeing his number of passes broken up jump from one in 2010 to nine last season. He also notched his second career interception and continued the reliable, physical tackling that has already helped him notch four forced fumbles over his career, resulting in his earning First Team All Big East accolades in 2011.
Smith looks stouter on tape than his listed size and appears capable of following the lead of former Louisville standouts Kerry Rhodes and William Gay as productive NFL defensive backs. --Rob Rang
12/16/2013 - 2013 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): S Hakeem Smith, Louisville, Sr., 6-2 179, Jonesboro, Ga./Riverdale,...Smith, a senior, who ranked in the top 20 in the league in passes defended, became the first Louisville player since Ronnie Ghent (2000-03) to earn all-conference honors each of their four years. For the season, the Jonesboro, Ga., native intercepted three passes this season - two in conference play - and recorded his lone sack against league-foe Rutgers. - Louisville football