2015 NFL DRAFT
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Alphonso Smith

Height: 5-09 | Weight: 193 | College: Wake Forest
 
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Overview

Smith is just the third player this century to amass 20 or more interceptions in a career, joining Jim Leonhard of Wisconsin (21, 2001-04) and Mitch Meeuwsen of Oregon State (20, 2001-04), and only the second in Atlantic Coast Conference annals to reach that lofty mark (Dre' Bly of North Carolina had 20, 1996-98). Only nine other players in the history of college football (all levels) have produced more interceptions in a career than Smith.

What makes Smith even more valuable at his position is his ability to make big plays in the backfield. Few cornerbacks, much less ones that stand just 5-feet-9 can boast having nine sacks, 23.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and eight forced fumbles on those hits during a career. He also adds to his resume as a capable kickoff returner, averaging 20.7 yards for his career, along with using his superb leaping ability and timing to block five kicks during his time at Wake Forest.

Smith was a standout player at quarterback and defensive back during his days at Pahokee High School, where he was the runner-up for state Player of the Year honors as a senior. He helped the Blue Devils to a 13-1 record and the Class 2B state championship, earning MVP honors in the state title game, throwing a 58-yard touchdown strike to current Deacon teammate Demir Boldin in that contest.

As a quarterback, Smith threw for 2,400 yards and 32 touchdowns and also rushed for 640 yards and six scores in 2003. He was responsible for 38 touchdowns as a senior, including scores on interception, punt, kickoff and fumble returns. He added 27 tackles, a sack and four interceptions as a cornerback, earning first-team All-State honors. He also played in the Outback Bowl and the Palm Beach All-Star Game. In addition to football, he was a starter on the basketball team.

Smith came to Wake Forest with high school teammates D.J. Boldin and Antonio Wilson, spending the 2004 season performing on the scout team. He made an immediate impact during 2005 spring camp, emerging as the team's starting left cornerback. He would earn consensus Freshman All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors that season. He placed fourth on the team with 60 tackles (52 solos), adding two sacks and eight stops for loss, along with a forced fumble. He picked off three passes, deflected nine throws and blocked a pair of kicks.

Smith started the first three games at left cornerback before coming off the bench for the rest of the 2006 campaign. He posted 48 tackles (37 solos) and led the ACC cornerbacks with four sacks and 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He batted down eight passes and had another three interceptions. He also returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.

In 2007, Smith garnered national recognition with his first All-American award. The All-ACC first-team pick ranked tied for second in the nation with eight interceptions, as he returned three of them for touchdowns, one shy of the NCAA single-season record. He added 44 tackles with three sacks and led the conference with four forced fumbles. He also had 10 pass deflections and blocked a kick for the third consecutive season.

In his own version of the game show, "Can You Top This," Smith did so as a senior. The consensus All-American tied for third in the nation with seven interceptions in 2008, adding a team-high thirteen pass deflections. He averaged 22.0 yards as a kickoff returner, blocked a kick and caused two fumbles. He was credited with 37 tackles (28 solos) while starting all 13 games while shuttling between free safety and left cornerback.

Analysis

Positives: Excellent ball skills, closing on the ball quickly and watching it into his hands. Can adjust to ball over his shoulder. Able to return interceptions for significant yardage. Very good speed to stay with receivers down the sideline, along with fluid hips and excellent quickness to handle short-area responsibilities. Reads the quarterback well, and can undercut throws to make a play. Very confident on an island, and won't back down even if giving up size to his opponent. Able to get position on receivers in order to cut off routes. Not shy about contact, and will attempt to wrap tackle in the open or cut if needed. Can close down the sideline on outside runs. Tries to strip the ball when part of a gang tackle. Got touches as a receiver on quick screens, and could be a return option.

Negatives: Short with only an adequate build and strength. Gives up several inches in height to outside receivers who can take advantage of him in jump balls down the sideline and red-zone situations. Can get vertical quickly, but isn't strong enough to out-fight bigger receivers for the ball. Struggles to get off decent receiver run blocks in space. Not a great one-on-one open-field tackler. Best as a zone corner or in the slot, as he may have problems jamming physical receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Compares To: DRE' BLY, ex-Denver -- Smith is an extraordinary pass thief with great timing and recovery speed. He plays taller than his size indicates, but is not strong enough to challenge more physical receivers, especially in press coverage. He is best suited to be a zone corner or operate in the slot in man coverage as he will get soft on you if bounced around by bigger blockers.

Scouting Report

GENERAL REPORT

GRADE: 6.10

Body Structure: Smith has a short frame with adequate muscle tone, but possesses good arm length and large, natural hands to secure the interception. He has a tight waist and hips, but lacks lower-body thickness (skinny ankles and calves).

Athletic Ability: Smith has above-average foot speed and ability to change direction. He lacks strength and can be washed out by a small receiver blocking. He is very smooth and fluid in his movements and displays outstanding hands for the interception, but even with his good leaping ability, he will get pinned by taller receivers during jump balls. He flips his hips and mirrors a receiver on deep routes, but is better suited for the slot in a man scheme or playing in a pure zone scheme, as he lacks any sort of physicality to produce impact hits or jam the receivers at the line. He has very good body control elevating to come down with the pass when uncontested and displays the burst to close on plays in front of him and the second gear to recover when a receiver gets behind him. GRADE: 6.6

Football Sense: Smith has good vision for the action in front of him, showing good timing to disrupt. He easily digests complicated plays, but gets a bit reckless in his play (seems to be caught up more in going for the interception rather than covering the receiver). He can be soft and back away from a confrontation and while durable, he is not the type that could play with pain at the next level. He thinks on his feet and has no problem handling different assignments. He just needs to control his emotion, as it does get the best of him on occasion (ejected from the 2006 Clemson game for throwing a punch and was then benched for most of the year as an attitude adjustment). GRADE: 6.4

Character: Smith plays with emotion and can get in trouble with the coaches and referees. He is an engaging person who presents himself well off the field, but he has a chip on his shoulder that might not go over well with NFL veterans. GRADE: 5.5

Competitiveness: Smith plays with good aggression until confronted and then will shy away. Shows good mental toughness when he doesn't let his emotions get the best of him. He could play nickel back or zone corner due to lack of size, but he is never going to be confused for an impact hitter. GRADE: 6.0

Work Habits: Smith is a good worker who had maturity issues earlier in his career, but did eventually buy into the program and football is very important to him. He takes well to hard coaching and is a scrappy type in the locker room who won't hesitate to order his teammates to fall in if necessary. GRADE: 6.0

ATHLETIC REPORT

GRADE: 6.63

Key and Diagnostic Skills: Short but has the vision, instincts and awareness to always get to the ball. He lacks the strength to prevent from getting bounced around, but gives every effort to make the play. He does a good job of anticipating the quarterback when playing in the zone and generally makes good reads and adjustments to flow to the ball. He will try to reroute receivers with a press, but he lacks the strength to be too effective. His ability to quickly identify his keys and react to the play makes him look taller than his size. He has the ability to distinguish between pass-run with no concern that he will be fooled by play action. His timing and feel for the ball in flight gets him most of his success when making plays on the ball. GRADE: 7.0

Man Coverage Ability: Smith is a natural ball thief with outstanding feet and ability to mirror and adjust to the receiver's movements. He can stick his hands in the face of his man to impede his opponent's vision of the ball in flight and does a very nice job of planting, redirecting and flipping his hips. He is equally efficient playing the trail, cover or cushion, and rarely allows cushion on the route. GRADE: 7.3

Zone Coverage Ability: Smith has very loose hips, but he will open up too early, especially when challenged with double moves. He lacks the upper-body strength or solid hand placement skills to reroute receivers. He does show good comprehension of zone concepts and has the range and suddenness (too sudden at times) in his movements to attack plays in front of him or switch off on his assignment in the deep part of the secondary. He can play in off coverage, but is still better in man-to-man action. GRADE: 6.4

Backpedal Skills: Smith shows the ability to change direction and is usually in good control coming out of his backpedal. He has the natural feet to be continuous in his movements and even though his speed will let him get away with it, he is never sloppy nor takes extra steps coming out of his breaks. GRADE: 6.7

Ball Reaction Skills: Smith has the vision and timing to get an excellent break on the ball. He shows good courage going for the ball at its high point, but will get a little soft vs. more physical receivers. He compensates for a lack of strength with his timing and foot quickness to step in front of the receiver. With his excellent hand/eye coordination, he reminds some of Ronde Barber for the way he breaks on the ball. GRADE: 7.3

Range/Recovery: Smith has good recovery speed and the range, along with the ability to cover ground while the ball is in the air. He takes good angles to the ball and has no problems when trailing or running on the hip of his coverage assignment. He can cover up mistakes with his recovery speed and looks just as fast in pads as he did in workouts. GRADE: 6.4

Jumping Ability: Smith gets good elevation in his jumps, but can get beaten to the ball by the taller receivers. He has outstanding ability to track the ball in flight, doing what all great ball thieves do -- shut out his surroundings to concentrate on the ball. He sacrifices his body to compete, but won't win too many battles there vs. more physical and bigger receiver. He has exceptional body control through his elevation, exciting the crowd with his ability to adjust in the air, thanks to the way he times the ball in flight. GRADE: 7.0

Hands: Smith is a natural hands catcher with big mitts for a little man (hands measured 9 5/8-inches, bigger than some of Wake's offensive linemen). He is not the type that has to rely on his body to catch the ball and looks very natural extending and plucking the pigskin away from his frame. His hands are that of a receiver's quality, evident by his conference record 21 interceptions and 40 pass breakups. GRADE: 8.0

Run Defense: The effort is there, but he gets bounced around and is just an adequate tackler who offers little in run force. He lacks good tackling technique and does not always get himself in position to make the play. He needs to use his hands better to keep blockers off his body, but even if his hands were active, he still lacks the strength to wrap and secure (more of a grab or drag-down type). GRADE: 5.1

Tackling Ability: Smith is just an adequate tackler. He will go low and wrestle down receivers, but ballcarriers are simply going to run through him. He can hope to knock the outside runner out of bounds, but he hits with such little thud, a mosquito bite is more painful. GRADE: 5.1

Compares To: DRE' BLY, ex-Denver -- Smith is an extraordinary pass thief with great timing and recovery speed. He plays taller than his size indicates, but is not strong enough to challenge more physical receivers, especially in press coverage. He is best suited to be a zone corner or operate in the slot in man coverage as he will get soft on you if bounced around by bigger blockers.

OVERALL GRADE: 6.54

Career Notes

Smith started 40 of 50 games at Wake Forest, recording 189 tackles (153 solos) with nine sacks for minus 59 yards, 23.5 stops for losses of 98 yards and eight forced fumbles … His 23.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage are the most in Atlantic Coast Conference history by a cornerback … Holds the school all-time records with 40 pass deflections and 61 passes defended … His 21 interceptions topped the old school career record of 17 by Ronnie Burgess (1981-84) and A.J. Greene (1985-88), as they also surpassed the previous ACC record of 20 by Dre' Bly of North Carolina (1996-98) … Became just the third player this century to amass 20 or more interceptions in a career, ranking 10th in NCAA history with those 21 thefts … His four interception returns for touchdowns broke the school career record and tied the ACC mark first set by Randy Neal of Virginia (1991-94) and matched by Victor Harris of Virginia Tech (2005-08) … His 254 yards gained on those pass thefts rank second on the school career record list, topped only by Aaron Curry (278, 2005-08), and placed seventh in ACC history behind Curry, John Talley of Duke (395; 2003-06), Pat Chester of Virginia (296; 1978-82), Harris (278; 2005-08), Tom Brown of Maryland (275; 1960-62) and Willie Clay of Georgia Tech (264, 1988-91) … Smith's three interception returns for touchdowns in 2007 are one shy of the NCAA single-season record of four scores by Deltha O'Neal of California (1999) … Also 24 punts for 182 yards and a touchdown, adding 352 yards on 17 kickoff returns (20.7 avg) and four yards on a rushing attempt while blocking five kicks … His 100-yard interception return vs. Maryland in 2007 is a school record … His eight interceptions in 2007 set another Wake Forest annual record.

2008 Season

Earned All-American first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp, the Foot-ball Writers Association of America and Pro Football Weekly, adding second-team accolades from Rivals.com … One of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given annually to the nation's best defensive player … Added All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors … Started all thirteen games, seeing action at both left cornerback and safety … Led the conference and tied for the national title with 20 passes defended, as he deflected thirteen tosses and intercepted seven others (tied for third in the NCAA) for 33 yards in returns … Caused two fumbles and made 2.5 stops for losses of 5 yards while posting 37 tackles (28 solos) … Gained 108 yards on 21 punt returns (5.1 avg) and 110 yards on five kickoff returns (20.7 avg) … Blocked one kick and even got a chance to carry the ball, gaining 4 yards on one rushing attempt vs. Navy … Helped the team rank 12th in the nation in pass defense (172.54 ypg) and passing efficiency defense (104.96 rating).

2008 Game Analysis

Baylor … Smith recorded three solo tackles, one interception, two pass break-ups, two punt returns for 15 yards, and one kickoff return for 20 yards in Wake Forest's decisive 41-13 victory over Big XII opponent Baylor … Early in the first quarter, Smith broke up a pass from Baylor quarterback Kirby Freeman to wide receiver David Gettis … With 4:06 left in the first quarter, on 3rd-&-9 from the Baylor 41-yard line, Bear running back Jay Finley had Kirby Freeman's pass go his hands and into the awaiting arms of Alphonso Smith, who returned the interception 1 yard to the Baylor 48-yard line … Near the end of the second quarter, Smith broke up a pass from Baylor's Robert Griffin to David Gettis in Wake Forest territory … Smith stopped Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright for no gain at the Wake Forest 30-yard line on a pass reception from Robert Griffin … Record Watch: Smith's first-quarter interception was the 15th of his career, moving him within two of the top spot on Wake Forest's career-interceptions list, which is currently held by Ronnie Burgess (1981-84) and A.J. Greene (1985-88), who have 17 picks apiece.

Mississippi … Smith contributed six tackles (5 solos), three punt returns for 43 yards, and two kickoff returns for 39 yards in the Demon Deacons' thrilling 30-28 win over Ole Miss, a game that wasn't decided until Sam Swank kicked a 41-yard game-winning field goal with three seconds left on the clock … With under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, Ole Miss tailback Brandon Bolden gained 33 yards to the Wake Forest 4-yard line on a pass reception from quarterback Jevan Snead before being dragged down by Smith and a teammate … On the first play of the fourth quarter, Smith was hit by the Rebels' Jamarca Sanford after a 10-yard punt return, causing the cornerback to lose the ball, which was recovered by Ole Miss at the Wake Forest 30-yard line. The turnover would cost the Demon Deacons, as Jevan Snead tossed a 31-yard touchdown to Rebel wide receiver Dexter McCluster two plays later.

Florida State … The Wake Forest defense forced seven turnovers, one shy of the school record, and received three tackles (1 solo), four pass break-ups, one interception, two punt returns for 3 yards, and one kickoff return for 17 yards from star defensive back Alphonso Smith in the Demon Deacons' 12-3 victory over ACC-rival Florida State … On FSU's first offensive play of the game, Smith intercepted quarterback Christian Ponder, returning the ball 18 yards to the FSU 45-yard line. The interception marked the third time in the past 16 games that Smith had intercepted the opposing quarterback on the opponent's first offensive play of the game (Boston College and Vanderbilt, 2007) … Midway through the first quarter, Smith broke up a pass from Ponder to wide receiver Greg Carr at the FSU 20-yard line … Near the end of the first quarter, on 3rd-&-5 from the FSU 18-yard line, Smith allowed Carr to haul in an 8-yard pass from Ponder for a first down … Minutes before halftime, Smith batted down a pass from Ponder to wide receiver Preston Parker at the FSU 21-yard line … With 4:24 remaining in the third quarter, FSU quarterback D'Vontrey Richardson had his pass to Preston Parker broken up by Smith … With 6:38 left in the game, on 4th-&-4 from the Wake Forest 37-yard line, Smith batted away a pass from Richardson to Taiwan Easterling to give the ball back to the Demon Deacons on downs … Record Watch: Smith's first-quarter interception was the 16th of his career, leaving him one shy of the school record, 17, which is held by Ronnie Burgess (1981-84) and A.J. Greene (1985-88) … The interception also move the cornerback into a tie for eighth place on the ACC's career-interceptions list.

Navy … The Midshipmen forced Wake Forest into a season-high six turnovers in their 24-17 upset of the No. 15 Demon Deacons … Smith finished the contest with one solo tackle and five punt returns for 24 yards … "We tried our best to simulate their offense but there is no way to go as fast as they went out there today. As you probably know, the first two drives, we had to try to get in the groove and the pace of the game. We played them last year but that was a year ago. I thought once we got back in a groove, I think we played a lot better defensively. Florida State and Ole Miss were fast but it's the execution that was different. Every guy made that offense execute well. I was glad to see when Kaipo-Noa went out but Bryant came in and he didn't miss a beat. Their execution forces you to stay discipline and makes you be mentally tough for four quarters. After a while, we started to play like we were capable of playing. But you could tell the plays we struggled with were their big plays, like the fullback run up the middle," Smith said of his team's struggles vs. the Navy option offense … Midway through the third quarter, Smith tackled Navy tailback Shun White at the Midshipmen 13-yard line for a 2-yard loss on a rushing attempt.

Clemson … Smith, who finished the game with one tackle, one interception, one pass break-up, and two punt returns for 2 yards, helped the Wake defense limit Clemson's talented backfield to just 21 rushing yards in the Demon Deacons' 12-7 victory over the Tigers … Smith and a teammate limited Clemson tailback James Davis to 1 yard on a rush up the middle at the end of the first quarter … Midway through the third quarter, Smith broke up a screen pass from Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper to wide receiver Nelson Faerber at the Tiger 26-yard line … At the 13:34 mark in the fourth quarter, on 3rd-&-4 from the Clemson 19-yard line, Smith stepped in front of a Cullen Harper pass, picking off the throw and returning the ball to the Clemson 16-yard line, setting up a 32-yard Wake Forest field goal … Record Watch: Smith's fourth-quarter interception was the 17th of his career, tying him with Ronnie Burgess (1981-84) and A.J. Greene (1985-88) for the most career interceptions in Wake Forest history … Smith, who has three picks this season, is the NCAA's active career leader in interceptions.

Maryland … Wake Forest's offense was unable to put any points on the board vs. a suffocating Maryland defense, as the Demon Deacons were shutout, 26-0, by their ACC rival … Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith finished the contest with four tackles (3 solos), two pass break-ups, and two punt returns for -3 yards … During Maryland's first drive of the game, on 3rd-&-1 from the Wake Forest 38-yard line, Smith and a teammate stopped tailback Da'Rel Scott after a 1-yard gain, but it was enough to give the Terrapins a first down … Midway through the second quarter, Maryland star wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey made an acrobatic catch of a pass from quarterback Chris Turner down the right boundary for a 41-yard gain to the Wake Forest 14-yard line, making the catch despite being tightly defended by Smith … The Wake Forest cornerback got some revenge on Maryland's next drive, batting down a Chris Turner pass intended for Heyward-Bey … Smith defected a second pass from Turner to Heyward-Bey, this time at the Wake Forest 9-yard line near the end of the third quarter.

Miami … Smith recorded four solo tackles and four pass break-ups in Wake Forest's 16-10 loss to the Hurricanes … At the 10:01 mark in the first quarter, Hurricane quarterback Robert Marve had a first-down pass broken up by Smith … With 4:11 remaining in the first quarter, on 3rd-&-7 from the Wake Forest 25-yard line, Miami receiver Travis Benjamin gained 6 yards on a pass reception from Marve but was stopped by Smith before picking up the first down, forcing the Hurricanes to settle for a 36-yard field goal … Early in the second quarter, Miami receiver Laron Byrd had a pass from quarterback Jacory Harris deflected by Smith at the Hurricane 17-yard line … During the opening minutes of the third quarter, on 3rd-&-14 from the Wake Forest 34-yard line, Smith broke up a pass from Marve to wide receiver Aldarius Johnson, forcing Miami to kick a 52-yard field goal … Smith repeated the act with under three minutes remaining in the game, deflecting Marve's second-down pass to Johnson from the Miami 25-yard line.

Duke … Smith did a little bit of everything in Wake Forest's thrilling 33-30 overtime win over Duke, recording two solo tackles, two interceptions, one blocked punt, three punt returns for 13 yards, and one kickoff return for 34 yards … "I know he was disappointed last week; he had a couple of opportunities and I felt watching him in practice this week that this might be a game where he did some things and, of course, the blocked punt was huge and the two interceptions tonight, certainly none bigger than the one at the end of the game. He's a guy that wants to be in a situation where he can make a difference and he did tonight," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said of his star cornerback … Said Smith of the Duke offense, "It was probably the best offense we've faced this entire year, numbers wise and how tough they are. We knew Duke would bring an explosive offense. We weren't surprise they took it to us. It was a great game; we are fortunate and happy to come out on the winning side" … With 1:59 remaining in the first quarter, Smith recorded the fifth blocked punt of his career, getting his hands on a Duke punt deep in their own territory, forcing the Blue Devil punter to fall on the ball in the end zone, where he was tackled for a safety and a 9-7 Wake Forest lead … With 12:44 remaining in the third quarter, Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis was picked off by Smith at the Blue Devils' 46-yard line, leading to Wake Forest tailback Brandon Pendergrass' 2-yard touchdown run that increased the Demon Deacons' lead to 19-7 … On the last play of the third quarter, Smith stuffed Duke tailback Jay Hollingsworth for no gain at the Blue Devils' 30-yard line … During Duke's last drive of regulation, on 4th-&-2 from the Wake Forest 33-yard line, Smith allowed wide receiver Eron Riley to get inside position on a slant pass, resulting in a 4-yard reception for a first down … On Duke's second play in overtime, Smith sealed the victory by intercepting Thaddeus Lewis in Wake Forest's end zone … Said Smith of becoming Wake Forest's all-time interceptions leader, "Honestly, the win was more important. The win felt better. To be the all-time interception leader is great. I appreciate this and I appreciate the opportunity Coach Grobe and Ron Wellman have given me. I'm really blessed and I'm really fortunate" … Record Watch: Smith's third-quarter interception was the 18th of his career, which set a new Wake Forest record for career interceptions … Smith's game-ending overtime interception extended his Wake Forest record to 19 and moved him into sole possession of second place on the ACC's career-interceptions list, trailing only North Carolina's Dre' Bly, who picked off 20 passes from 1996-98 … With five picks, Smith leads the Demon Deacons in interceptions this season and extended his school record for career passes defended to 59 … Smith's two picks vs. Duke marked the fourth multi-interception game of his career.

Virginia … Smith had a relatively quiet afternoon vs. Virginia, finishing with five tackles (3 solos) and two punt returns for 3 yards in Wake Forest's 28-17 victory over the Cavaliers, a game in which the Demon Deacon defense limited its opponent to just 28 rushing yards … With 1:36 remaining in the first quarter, Smith lost control of the ball while trying to field a punt, but his teammates were able to recover the ball at the Wake Forest 32-yard line … Smith and a teammate were able to stop Virginia tailback Cedric Peerman for no gain on a rushing attempt on the last play of the first quarter … During a drive that started at the 7:13 mark in the third quarter, Virginia Kevin Ogletree gained 43 yards on a pass reception from quarterback Marc Verica before Smith could drag down the wide receiver at the Wake Forest 1-yard line, saving a sure touchdown. Three plays later, on 3rd-&-goal from the Wake Forest 2-yard line, Smith and teammate Aaron Curry tackled Marc Verica for a 4-yard loss on a quarterback draw.

North Carolina State … Smith posted two tackles (1 solo) in Wake Forest's 21-17 loss to N.C. State … Early in the second quarter, Smith was flagged for a 15-yard roughing-the-kicker penalty, giving the Wolfpack a new set of downs at the Wolfpack 37-yard line.

Boston College … Smith, who recorded two solo tackles, two forced fumbles, one punt return for 8 yards, and one recovery of a blocked punt, made several big defensive and special-teams plays for the Demon Deacons but it wasn't enough to produce a win, as Wake Forest fell to Boston College, 24-21, before the home crowd … Near the end of the first quarter, Smith hit BC quarterback Chris Crane on a rush up the middle, causing the signal-caller to lose possession of the ball, which was recovered by linebacker Aaron Curry at the Wake Forest 30-yard line … With 4:10 remaining in the first half, Smith hit the Eagles' Dominique Davis in the backfield and forced the quarterback to fumble the ball, which was recovered by teammate Kevin Patterson, who rumble 15 yards for a score, decreasing BC's lead to 13-7 … In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Wake Forest's Gelo Orange blocked Ryan Quigley's punt, which was recovered by Smith, who returned the ball 8 yards to the BC 1-yard line, setting up a touchdown that gave the Demon Deacons a 21-16 lead.

Vanderbilt … With his fourth-quarter interception, Smith moved into a first-place tie as the ACC's career interceptions leader, helping the Demon Deacons defeat Vanderbilt, 23-10, in Winston-Salem … Smith finished with three tackles (2 solos) and an interception … "It feels great but a lot of credit goes to the defensive staff. That interception wasn't made by ability; it was made during the week in the film room," said Smith of his record-setting pick … Near the 2:00 mark in the second quarter, Smith was penalized 15 yards for roughing the kicker when he tried to block Brett Upson's punt, giving Vandy a new set of downs at the Commodore 26-yard line … With 4:14 remaining in the game, on 3rd-&-19 from the Vandy 5-yard line, Alphonso Smith stepped in front of Larry Smith's sideline pass, returning the interception 6 yards to the Commodore 8-yard line. Two plays later, Wake Forest fullback Rich Belton scored a touchdown on a 4-yard rush to increase the Commodores' lead to 23-10 … Said Smith of his final regular-season game as a Demon Deacon, "We talked about the game Monday in team meetings and we agreed, it was either win this game or stay home. We're the only seniors to wear a Wake Forest jersey and go to three-consecutive bowl games. Hopefully, we can come out with another bowl win" … Record Watch: Smith's fourth-quarter interception gave him 20 for his career, tying him with North Carolina's Dre' Bly (1996-98) for most career interceptions in ACC history … The pick was Smith's six interception of the season.

Navy (Eagle Bank Bowl) … Smith posted one solo tackle, one interception, and one carry for 4 yards in Wake Forest's 29-19 comeback victory over Navy in the Eagle Bank Bowl … Midway through the first quarter, on 2nd-&-9 from the Wake Forest 46-yard line, Smith took off on a reverse, his first rushing attempt of the season, but the multi-purpose weapon was stripped of the ball by Navy's Wyatt Middleton, resulting in Rashawn King's 50-yard fumble return for a touch-down to give Navy a 10-0 lead … With 4:24 remaining before half-time, Smith intercepted Navy QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada at the Wake Forest goal line to thwart the Midshipmen's scoring threat … Record Watch: Smith's second-quarter interception was the 21st of his career, giving him sole possession of first place on the ACC's career interceptions list … The pick was Smith's seventh of the season and it extended his school record for career passes defended to 61.

2007 Season

First-team All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report, adding second-team honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and third-team accolades from the Associated Press …

All-ACC first-team pick … Started all thirteen games at left cornerback, registered 44 tackles (36 solos) with three sacks for minus 20 yards, 4.5 stops for losses totaling 24 yards and a QB pressure … Caused a league-high four fumbles, as he deflected eight passes and blocked one punt … Gained 112 yards on six kickoff returns (18.7 avg) … Ranked tied for second in the nation with a school season-record eight interceptions, tying another ACC mark by returning those pass thefts for 166 yards and three touchdowns, just one shy of the NCAA annual record four interception returns for scores by Deltha O'Neal of California in 1999.

2007 Game Analysis

Intercepted Boston College's Matt Ryan on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 21 yards for a score … Intercepted Vanderbilt's Mackenzie Adams on the first play as well … Smith's 100-yard interception return vs. Maryland sparked the Deacons to rally from a 24-3 deficit and post a 31-24 win in overtime over the Terps. It was the longest return in school history and also set a BB&T Field record, as he was just the sixth player in ACC history to go the distance with an interception … Also had a 30-yard interception return for a score vs. Duke … Registered end zone interceptions vs. Florida State and North Carolina State … Had two picks vs. North Carolina State and Vanderbilt, totaling four interceptions in the last two games … Set the school record for interception return yards in a season only to see LB Aaron Curry break that mark later in the year … Named ACC Defensive Back of the Week following the Maryland game.

2006 Season

Started the first three games vs. Syracuse, Duke and Connecticut at left cornerback, coming off the bench the rest of the season … Registered 48 tackles (37 solos) with four sacks for minus 30 yards and 8.5 stops for losses of 41 yards … Blocked a punt that he returned 34 yards for a touchdown and caused one fumble … Intercepted three passes for 23 yards in returns and deflected eight others … Returned five kickoffs for 115 yards (23.0 avg) … Was ejected from the Clemson game for fighting.

2006 Game Analysis

Blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown vs. North Carolina, adding four solo tackles … Made a season-high seven tackles at Connecticut, including 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage … Had two tackles for loss and seven hits (5 solos) vs. Liberty … Sacked QB Matt Ryan for a 6-yard loss and delivered four tackles vs. Boston College … Followed with an 11-yard sack and a 7-yard interception return vs. Florida State … Delivered five solo tackles with a 4-yard sack and tallied 16 yards on a pair of interceptions vs. Maryland.

2005 Season

First-team Freshman All-American selection by College Football News, ESPN.com, and Scout.com, adding second-team honors from The Sporting News and Rivals.com … Was selected to The Sporting News' ACC All-Freshman Team … Led the nation's cornerbacks

With eight stops for losses totaling 28 yards while starting all eleven games at left corner-back … Had two sacks for minus 9 yards, a forced fumble and 60 tackles (52 solos) … Had two blocked punts that he returned for a total of 40 yards, adding a 15-yard kickoff return and three interceptions for 32 yards in returns, including a touchdown … Also deflected nine passes.

2005 Game Analysis

Broke up three passes vs. Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler in his career debut and made six tackles (4 solos) … Had five tackles including one for loss at Nebraska … Blocked a punt, broke up a pass and had two tackles vs. East Carolina … Recorded four tackles, including one for loss, in the Maryland game … Added a season-high eleven tackles, including one for loss vs. Clemson, as his stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. the Tigers was on a fake field goal and it sealed the victory … Had a forced fumble, a pass break-up and five tackles in the Florida State game … Blocked a punt, intercepted a pass, had six tackles, including one for loss at Boston College … Returned an interception for 23-yard touchdown, had two tackles for loss and six stops vs. North Carolina State. His last tackle vs. the Wolfpack was on a fake punt that sealed the win … Had three stops, one for loss and a pass break-up at Duke and made five tackles at Georgia Tech … Registered six tackles including a sack vs. Miami in the season finale.

2004 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

No injuries reported.

Agility Tests

Combine: 4.47 in the 40-yard dash … 1.50 10-yard dash … 2.60 20-yard dash … 4.38 20-yard shuttle … 7.09 three-cone drill … 34-inch vertical jump … 10'5" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 13 times … 31 1/2-inch arm length … 9 3/4-inch hands.

High School

Attended Pahokee (Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Leroy Foster … Standout at quarterback and defensive back … Runner-up for state Player of the Year honors as a senior … Helped the Blue Devils to a 13-1 record and the Class 2B state championship, earning MVP honors in the state title game, throwing a 58-yard touchdown strike to Deacon teammate Demir Boldin in that contest … As a quarterback, Smith threw for 2,400 yards and 32 touchdowns and also rushed for 640 yards and six scores in 2003 … Responsible for 38 touchdowns as a senior, including scores on interception, punt, kickoff and fumble returns … Added 27 tackles, a sack and four interceptions as a cornerback, earning first-team All-State honors. He also played in the Outback Bowl and the Palm Beach All-Star Game … In addition to football, he was a starter on the basketball team.

Personal

History major … Nicknames are Zo and Prime … Is a graduate of the National Football Foundation's Play It Smart program … Son of Sharon Smith and Alphonso Smith, Sr …

Born 10/20/85 in Pahokee, Florida.

 
Latest News
04/28/2009 - A closer look at the Broncos' picks: Round 2/37 -- Alphonso Smith, CB, 5-9, 193, Wake Forest...Smith fell down draft boards because of his height, but the Broncos had a first-round grade on him. They traded their 2010 first-round pick to Seattle to get Smith, the ACC's all-time leader in interceptions. Smith can come in right away and play in nickel packages, and perhaps push Andre' Goodman for a starting spot. Both of Denver's projected starting cornerbacks are more than 30 years old, and Smith is the future at the position.

04/28/2009 - If the Broncos have a poor 2009 season, they won't reap the rewards of a high draft pick. Denver sent its own 2010 first-round draft pick to Seattle for the 37th overall pick on draft day, to select cornerback Alphonso Smith. Denver coach Josh McDaniels said the Broncos had a first-round grade on Smith, so it was worth the trade. "I'm sure there will be some questions about the trade from 1 (first round) next year to (second round) this year," McDaniels said. "He was extremely valued in our room, has been all spring."

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