African American History Month Day 12 – Ravens’ Torrey Smith
Torrey Smith was born on January 26th, 1989 in Colonial Beach, Virginia. He lived with his mother Monica and was the eldest of seven children. He would help his mother with the chores as she went to college during the day and worked during the night.
Smith attended the University of Maryland after high school. He became a stand out wide receiver and return man for the Maryland Terrapins. In his first season in 2008, after redshirting in 2007, he had 24 receptions for 336 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2009, he won the starting job and tripled the number of catches he had the previous year to 62. He also had more yards with 824 and more touchdowns with five. But it was his final season with the Terrapins in 2010 which he broke out in, 1,055 yards on 67 catches and 12 touchdowns.
His 2010 season earned him first team All-ACC honors.
But he was also known for his special teams ability, setting multiple school and ACC records for yardage gained from kick. In his three seasons with Maryland, Smith averaged 24.3 yards per return. He had three return touchdowns.
Smith then decided to forgo his final season at college to enter the NFL Draft as a redshirt junior. He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round, fiftieth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Having spend three years in Maryland with the Terrapins, it was seen as a boy staying home.
With the Ravens, Smith has established himself as one of the leagues premier deep-threats. He’s connected with quarterback Joe Flacco for 18 touchdowns in his first three seasons. Smith was a instrumental in helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl in 2012, forming a deadly tandem with Anquan Boldin. b Smith’s speed combined with Boldin’s safe hands and blunt-force running style.
So far in his short NFL career, Torrey has hauled in a total of 164 passes for 2,324 yards and 18 touchdowns. He’s yet to be voted to an All Pro team or to a Pro Bowl.
September 23rd, 2012 is a day that will be forever be remembered. It was the day his 19=year old brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. The city of Baltimore rallied to Smith’s side in his hour of darkness. Smith was very close to his family on account of taking care of them while their mother worked and received an education.
On the same day that Smith’s brother was killed, the Baltimore Ravens played host to the New England Patriots. Despite the fact that Torrey was hurting, he still chose to play. He had one of his best games for the team, hauling in 6 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns as the Ravens over came the Patriots 31-30.
Outside of football, Smith has his own foundation – the Torrey Smith Foundation – that helps kids in education sport, and financial challenges. The foundation also offers support for victims of domestic violence.
Not only is Torrey Smith an exceptionally gifted football player, he’s also very caring and wants to give back to the people who need it. Compared to the other names on this list, Smith is still very young and still has a career to forge in the NFL. But he’s on this list because of his charity work and because the city of Baltimore has adopted him as their son after he’s spent so many years in the city.
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