Former Viking Smith makes USM’s Team of the Century

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 11, 2001

[06/11/01] Former Warren Central star Tony Smith is among 25 players chosen to the University of Southern Mississippi’s Team of the Century.

Smith, who was picked to the elite squad as a kick returner, caught 20 passes and scored seven touchdowns for WC in his senior season in 1987.

He went on to play at USM 1989-91 before being selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He is the only Warren County player ever picked in the first round.

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At USM, Smith averaged 26.6 yards per kickoff return and returned two kicks for scores, including an 82-yarder against East Carolina in 1989.

He spent three seasons with Atlanta, mainly as a running back and kick returner. He started six games in his rookie season in 1992, averaging 3.8 yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns. In 1993 he returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score.

Other players chosen for the team included quarterback Brett Favre, running backs Derrick Nix and Sammy Winder, wide receivers Louis Lipps and Sherrod Gideon, punter Ray Guy and cornerback Patrick Surtain.

Players were chosen by fans, a committee of former players, administrators and coaches, and recommendations of former players and coaches.

The team will be honored at the Southern Miss-Alabama-Birmingham game Sept. 29 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.