Royce Smith – 1969-1971
Offensive Guard, Bulldogs
Only seven Georgia football players have ever earned consensus All-American honors by a unanimous vote. One of those players is offensive guard Royce Smith. Smith was the head battering ram of an offense piloted by Andy Johnson in the early 1970s.
With Smith leading the charge at the line of scrimmage, Georgia finished 10-1 in 1971. The Bulldogs only scored less than 20 points twice that season, with both instances being victories. A loss to Auburn kept Georgia from sharing the SEC Championship with Alabama and playing for a National Championship.
For his efforts in 1971, Smith earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is awarded to the best offensive lineman in the SEC. He also earned All-SEc honors every year from 1969-to-1971.
After Georgia football, the New Orleans Saints drafted Smith eighth overall in the 1972 NFL Draft. He played 62 games in five seasons in the league, finishing his career with the Atlanta Falcons.
Time is running out on Royce Smith as players run out of eligibility after 50 years. Smith earning unanimous All-American votes in 1971 while also earning recognition as the SEC’s best lineman makes him more than deserving a spot in the hall of fame.