Aldon Smith to enter NFL draft

Friday, January 7, 2011 | 4:19 p.m. CST; updated 4:16 p.m. CST, Saturday, January 8, 2011
Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith celebrates the Tigers' victory over San Diego State on Sept. 18 at Memorial Stadium.

COLUMBIA — Sophomore defensive end Aldon Smith has decided to make himself available for the 2011 NFL Draft. He will give up his final two seasons of eligibility at MU.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Mizzou for supporting me," Smith said. "The coaches, our fans and alumni, everyone has been great, and they've definitely helped me get to this point. It's been my dream for as long as I can remember to play in the NFL, so this is something I'm really excited for."

Head coach Gary Pinkel said he was supportive of Smith's decision, according to a news release.

"There's no question that Aldon is one of the most gifted athletes in the country at his position," Pinkel said. "We'd love to have the chance to coach him longer, but we're 100 percent behind him and supportive with this decision. Aldon gave us three outstanding years, and it's going to be exciting to watch him in the pros, because his best football is ahead of him."

Chad Moller of the athletics department said that Smith was working with the agency Creative Artists in St. Louis. However, Missourian reporters were not able to confirm whether that was his sports agent.

As a redshirt freshman in 2009, he won 1st-Team All-American honors, as well as Big 12 Conference Defensive Freshman and Newcomer of the Year. He also captured the MU single-season record of 11.5 quarterback sacks.

In 10 games in 2010, Smith had 48 total tackles. He was named 1st-Team All-Big 12 by league coaches. His 17 career sacks ties him for the sixth-best record at MU.

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Corey Parks January 7, 2011 | 5:34 p.m.

We better watch out. With everyone jumping ship this year Kansas might come in and steam roll us.

(Report Comment)
Drew Officer January 7, 2011 | 7:59 p.m.

It looks as if the impending rookie salary cap is prompting more players than normal to sign up for the draft.

Can you say, GREED?

(Report Comment)
Dieter Kurtenbach January 7, 2011 | 11:11 p.m.

Would you take tens of millions of dollars less to do the same job?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 8, 2011 | 6:24 a.m.


Your question pretty much answers itself; however, how much longer are we going to pretend that NCAA Division I football and men's basketball are anything other than training facilities/talent shows for entry into professional sports?

NCAA Division III today represents true amateur athletics; several of the most famous universities and technical institutes in the United States have Division III programs.

As for who will win the 2011 Kansas-Missouri football game, folks from the Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis campuses are still trying to understand why that's a big deal.

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear January 8, 2011 | 10:34 a.m.

Which is just one reason why those 'folks' are on those campuses, instead of at the University of Missouri, Columbia...and there are a few other reasons, too.

Ellis Smith wrote:
--As for who will win the 2011 Kansas-Missouri football game, folks from the Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis campuses are still trying to understand why that's a big deal.--

(Report Comment)

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