Harrison Smith (American Football)
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Harrison Smith American Football

Harrison Smith
refer to caption
Smith with the Minnesota Vikings in 2015
No. 22 - Minnesota Vikings
Position:Strong safety
Personal information
Born: (1989-02-02) February 2, 1989 (age 30)
Augusta, Georgia
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:214 lb (97 kg)
Career information
High school:Knoxville Catholic
(Knoxville, Tennessee)
College:Notre Dame
NFL Draft:2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 29
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2019

Harrison Smith (born February 2, 1989) is an American football safety for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. He was drafted in the first round, 29th overall of the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football for Notre Dame.

In 2017, Smith was graded the 3rd best player in the NFL by Pro Football Focus[1]. His season grade of 98.8 was also the highest among safeties in Pro Football Focus history.[2] He was named to his third straight Pro Bowl on January 22, 2018 and was named first team All-Pro.[3][4] He followed with a 4th consecutive Pro Bowl in 2019 and second team All-Pro.

High school career

Smith attended Knoxville Catholic High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. In his senior season, he gained 1,340 yards rushing to go with 19 touchdowns, caught 23 passes for 453 yards and six touchdowns, and also made 61 tackles, two tackles for loss, two interceptions, and caused two fumbles on defense. He was named Gatorade Football Player of the Year in Tennessee in 2006.

In addition to football, Smith also played basketball and ran track. In track, he competed primarily as a jumper. He won the state meet in the high jump 1.98 meters (6.5 ft) and the decathlon, scoring 6,230 points. He had a career-best leap of 2.03 meters (6.8 ft) in the high jump.[5] He also had personal-best jumps of 6.54 meters (21 ft 5 in) in long jump and 14.15 meters (46 ft 5 in) in triple jump.

Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, he was listed as the No. 25 athlete in the nation.[6] Many scouts believed he could play offense or defense in college.[] He chose Notre Dame over offers from Tennessee, Auburn, and Alabama.

College career

After red-shirting as a freshman in 2007, he emerged as a star in 2008. He began his career at linebacker. In his first year, he started 9 games and recorded 57 tackles, which included 8.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. As a junior in 2009, he started 6 games at strong safety, then strongside linebacker for the final 6 games. He recorded 69 tackles including 6.5 tackles for loss. In 2010, as a senior, he played strong safety where he recorded 93 tackles including a team-high 7 interceptions. In 2011, he was accepted to a graduate program at Notre Dame allowing him to play another season.[7] In his final year in 2011, serving as team captain, he played in and started in all 13 games. He recorded 90 tackles including 3 tackles for loss.

College statistics

Regular season statistics Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Season Team GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck Sfty PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR FR YDS
2008 Notre Dame 13 9 57 39 18 3.5 -- 7 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 Notre Dame 12 12 69 39 30 0.0 -- 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0 0
2010 Notre Dame 13 13 93 56 37 0.0 -- 7 7 54 7.7 23 0 0 0 0
2011 Notre Dame 13 13 90 53 37 0.0 -- 10 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0 0
Totals 51 47 309 187 122 3.5 -- 28 7 54 7.7 23 0 2.0 0 0

Professional career

Coming out of Notre Dame, Harrison was projected by the majority of analysts to be a first round draft selection. He was ranked the second best strong safety, behind Alabama's Mark Barron, and the 46th best prospect by NFLDraftScout.com. He was invited to attend the 2012 NFL Combine as a free safety and completed the entire workout and every positional drill. Smith was satisfied enough with his combine performance that he chose to only partake in positional drills at Notre Dame's Pro Day.[8] He received positive reviews from analysts and scouts for his size, athletic ability, play recognition, intelligence, tackling ability, reaction time, consistency, and production. He mainly received negative reviews on his man to man coverage ability.[9]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft  in
(1.88 m)
213 lb
(97 kg)
(0.83 m)
(0.26 m)
34 in
(0.86 m)
10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m)
All values from NFL Combine[9][10]


On April 26, 2012, the Minnesota Vikings drafted Smith in the first round (29th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft after trading up with the Baltimore Ravens.[11] On May 31, 2012, the Minnesota Vikings signed Smith to a four-year, $7.13 million contract with $5.78 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $3.63 million.[12]

He entered training camp competing with Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo to be the Minnesota Vikings' free safety. Smith was named the starting free safety to begin the regular season.[13] He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Vikings' season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He finished the 26-23 victory with seven combined tackles. During the Week 5 matchup against the Tennessee Titans, Smith was ejected for moving an official out of the way; the Vikings still won, 30-7. On October 21, 2012, Smith made six combined tackles and a pass deflection, and made his first career interception off of John Skelton for a 31-yard touchdown. It was his first career touchdown and sealed the 21-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.[14] The following game, he made a season-high 13 combined tackles in a 36-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On December 9, 2012, he recorded seven total tackles and intercepted Jay Cutler's pass and returned it for a 52-yard touchdown in a 21-14 victory over the Chicago Bears. The next game, Smith had a season-high nine solo tackles and an assisted tackle during a 36-22 win over the St. Louis Rams. In a Week 16 matchup against the Houston Texans, he decided seven solo tackles and made his first career sack on Matt Schaub, as the Vikings routed the Texans, 23-6.[15]

He finished his rookie season with 104 combined tackles, one sack, three interceptions, and two touchdowns.[16]


He returned as the starting free safety the following season. In the season-opener against the Detroit Lions, Smith made a season-high ten combined tackles and deflected a pass as the Vikings lost 34-24. The following week, he recorded eight solo tackles and intercepted Jay Cutler for his first of the season. The Minnesota Vikings went on to lose to the Chicago Bears 31-30.[17] In a Week 3 contest against the Cleveland Browns, Smith racked up five solo tackles and intercepted Brian Hoyer in a 31-27 loss to the Browns.[18] On October 18, 2013, Smith was placed on injured-reserve after suffering an injury to his left foot during a Week 6 loss to the Carolina Panthers.[19] On December 14, 2013, after missing 8 games, Smith was activated to the 53-man roster.[20] The next day, he played in his first game since returning and made eight combined tackles in a 48-30 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Smith started only seven games in the 2013 season due to his foot injury and made 58 combined tackles and two interceptions.[16]


He resumed as the starting free safety under new head coach Mike Zimmer. In the season-opener against the St. Louis Rams, Smith made two solo tackles, a pass deflection, a sack, and scored an 81-yard touchdown after intercepting Shaun Hill in the 34-6 victory.[21] On November 2, 2014, he recorded a season-high ten solo tackles in a 29-26 win over the Washington Redskins. In a Week 11 contest, Smith recorded three solo tackles, a pass deflection, and intercepted Jay Cutler during a 21-13 loss to the Chicago Bears. The next game, he deflected a pass, made five solo tackles, and assisted on five tackles, tying his season-high of ten combined tackles in a 24-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He started all 16 games and finished his first year under head coach Mike Zimmer with 92 combined tackles, nine deflected passes, three sacks, five interceptions, and a touchdown.[16]


On May 3, 2015, the Minnesota Vikings picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract that paid him $5.28 million for 2016.[12][22]

In the seasons opener, he recorded a season-high nine combined tackles in a 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The next game, Smith made a season-high six solo tackles in a 26-16 win over the Detroit Lions. On October 4, 2015, he made three combines tackles and made his first interception of the season off of Peyton Manning in a 23-20 loss to the Denver Broncos.[23] On December 27, 2015, Smith racked up five combined tackles, intercepted Eli Manning, and returned it for a 35-yard touchdown, as the Vikings routed the New York Giants, 49-17.[24] He set a Minnesota Vikings' franchise record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns in a career.[25] Smith started 13 games for the Vikings in the 2015 season and missed Weeks 12, 14, and 15 due to a knee injury. He finished the season with 66 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, and a touchdown.[16]

On January 31, 2016, Smith played in his first Pro Bowl, as an alternate for the injured Earl Thomas.[26] He was ranked 73rd on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[27]


On June 6, 2016, Smith signed a five-year, $51.25 million contract extension with the Vikings that included $28.57 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $10 million.[12][28]

In the Vikings' season-opener against the Tennessee Titans, he made eight total tackles in a 25-16 victory. On September 25, 2016, Smith recorded seven combined tackles and sacked Cam Newton for his first of the season, in a 22-10 win against the Carolina Panthers. In a Week 11 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Smith recorded a season-high ten combined tackles and sacked Carson Palmer in a 30-24 victory.[16] Smith missed Weeks 14 and 15 with a high ankle sprain that was initially thought to possibly be a season-ending injury that required surgery.[29] On December 24, 2016, he returned in a 38-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers and made four solo tackles. He finished the season with 91 tackles, two sacks, and two deflected passes in 14 starts. This was the first season in his career he did not record an interception.[16]

On December 20, 2016, the NFL announced that Smith and fellow Vikings Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson had been voted to the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl. This was his second consecutive Pro Bowl but first as a first-team member.[30] He was ranked 74th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.[31]


In Week 16, Smith recorded two interceptions against Brett Hundley in a 16-0 shutout win over the Packers, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[32]

Smith was graded the 3rd best player in the NFL by Pro Football Focus[33]. His season grade of 98.8 was also the highest among safeties in Pro Football Focus history.[2] He was named to his third straight Pro Bowl on January 22, 2018 and was named first team All-Pro. He was also nominated for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.[34][4] He was ranked 46th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.[35]


In Week 1, Smith recorded one interception, a sack, and a touchdown saving fumble recovery to go along with 7 tackles in dominant 24-16 win over the San Francisco 49ers, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[36] In week 5, Smith helped the Vikings to victory against the Philadelphia Eagles with 4 tackles and a big hit late in the 4th quarter to prevent a third-down conversion by the Eagles. Week 7 saw the Vikings travel to New York to take on the Jets, Smith had an interception returned for 52 yards to go along with 2 passes defended and 4 tackles, to lead the Vikings to a 37-17 win. Smith was selected to a 4th straight Pro Bowl as well as being selected 2nd team All-Pro after another stellar season for the Minnesota Vikings.


In Week 3 against the Oakland Raiders, Smith recorded his first interception of the season off Derek Carr in the 34-14 win. [37]

Career statistics

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck Sfty PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR FR YDS
2012 MIN 16 16 104 74 30 1.0 -- 11 3 87 29.0 56T 2 1 1 0
2013 MIN 8 7 58 47 11 0.0 -- 3 2 4 2.0 4 0 0 1 0
2014 MIN 16 16 92 71 21 3.0 -- 9 5 150 30.0 81T 1 1 0 0
2015 MIN 13 13 66 49 15 1.5 -- 3 2 35 17.5 35T 1 1 0 0
2016 MIN 14 14 91 69 22 2.0 -- 2 -- -- -- -- -- 0 1 0
2017 MIN 16 16 78 61 17 1.5 -- 12 5 42 8.4 19 0 0 0 0
2018 MIN 16 16 84 67 17 3.0 -- 6 3 66 22.0 52 0 1 2 0
Career 68 67 573 438 135 12.0 -- 46 20 384 -- 81T 4 4 5 0



  1. ^ https://www.pff.com/news/pro-top-101-players-from-the-2017-nfl-season
  2. ^ a b "No Matter How Good You Think Harrison Smith Is, He's Better Than You Think He Is". January 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Linval Joseph, Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith Named to 2018 Pro Bowl". Vikings.com. January 22, 2018. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b Patra, Kevin (January 5, 2018). "All-Pro Team: Antonio Brown is unanimous selection". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Press, Pioneer. "Vikings draft pick Harrison Smith talks, Bob Sansevere listens - Twin Cities". Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 8, 2015. Retrieved 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Harrison Smith, DS #2 SS, Notre Dame: 2012 NFL draft". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ a b "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Harrison Smith". nfl.com. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ http://www.draftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=71840&draftyear=2012&genpos=ss
  11. ^ "Vikings Move Up, Select Notre Dame S Harrison Smith". www.vikings.com. April 26, 2012. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "Sportrac.com: Harrison Smith contract". sportrac.com. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "Ourlads.com: Minnesota Viking's Depth Chart: 08/29/2012". ourlads.com. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 7-2012: Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 16-2012: Minnesota Vikings @ Houston Texans". NFL.com. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "NFL Player Profile: Harrison Smith". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 2-2013: Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 3-2013: Cleveland Browns @ Minnesota Vikings". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ Gates, Christopher (October 18, 2013). "Harrison Smith Placed On Injured Reserve-Recall List". Daily Norseman. Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ CCNorseman (December 14, 2013). "Report: Josh Robinson to IR, Harrison Smith Activated". Daily Norseman. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 1-2013: Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ Goessling, Ben (May 4, 2015). "Vikings pick up fifth-year options on Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016.
  23. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 4-2015: Minnesota Vikings @ Denver Broncos". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 16-2015: New York Giants @ Minnesota Vikings". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "Can't Miss: Harrison Smith's Pick-Six vs. NYG". www.vikings.com. Retrieved 2016.
  26. ^ Young, Lindsey (January 25, 2016). "Harrison Smith Headed to 1st Career Pro Bowl". www.vikings.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  27. ^ NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 - No. 73 Harrison Smith
  28. ^ Orr, Conor (June 6, 2016). "Harrison Smith signs $51.25M extension with Vikings". NFL.com. Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ Patra, Kevin (November 7, 2016). "Report: Harrison Smith could possibly miss the rest of the season with ankle injury". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ "NFL announces 2017 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ NFL Top 100 Players of 2017 - No. 74 Harrison Smith
  32. ^ Maya, Adam (December 27, 2017). "Todd Gurley, Dion Lewis among NFL Players of Week". NFL.com.
  33. ^ https://www.pff.com/news/pro-top-101-players-from-the-2017-nfl-season
  34. ^ "Linval Joseph, Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith Named to 2018 Pro Bowl". Vikings.com. January 22, 2018. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ "Harrison Smith Makes NFL's Top 100 at No. 46". vikings.com.
  36. ^ Teope, Herbie (September 12, 2018). "Mahomes, Fitzpatrick among Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  37. ^ "NFL rushing leader Cook leads Vikes romp past Raiders 34-14". www.espn.com. September 22, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  38. ^ "Harrison Smith Stats". nfl.com. National Football League. Retrieved 2016.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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