- L. J. Smith
birthdate=birth date and age|1980|5|13
birthplace=Highland Park, New Jersey
John Smith III (commonly known as L.J., which stands for "Little John") (born May 13, 1980 in Highland Park,
New Jersey, USA) is an American football tight endwho currently plays for the Philadelphia Eaglesof the NFL. He played college footballat Rutgers University, and was the 29th selection in the 2nd round (61st overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was the third tight end taken in that draft.
High school career
At Highland Park High School in
Highland Park, New Jersey, L.J. Smith was a star in both basketball and football. As a senior football linebacker, he posted 11 sacks, 143 tackles, and five interceptions. [http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/team/teamRosterDetails.jsp?id=563 L.J. Smith profile] , Philadelphia Eagles. Accessed June 9, 2007. "Growing up in the small town of Highland Park, NJ (2 square miles, population 14,500), Smith graduated from the local high school as part of a 115-person class....Single and lives in Cherry Hill, NJ, in the offseason... Attended Highland Park (NJ) HS where he caught 10 TDs and had 143 tackles, 11 sacks and 5 INTs at LB as a senior.]
A four-year starter, he finished second in Rutgers history among tight ends with 122 receptions for 1,458 yards and 10 TDs, surpassed only by
Marco Battaglia. Smith earned All-Big East honors as both a junior and senior, and served as team captain as a senior, leading the Scarlet Knights with a career-high 32 receptions for 384 yards and 3 TDs.
L.J. had 34 receptions, 377 yards and five TDs in 2004. His TD total of five was the most in a season by an Eagles TE since
Chad Lewisposted six in 2001. Smith also made an impressive diving reception in the back of the end zone for the Eagles' first TD in Super Bowl XXXIX.
He followed up his 2004 season with a strong 2005 campaign, hauling in 61 receptions for 682 yards and three TDs, both of which were career highs. This was despite a season-ending injury to
Donovan McNabband the resulting anemic passing game.
Smith has had a strong start in 2006, although he has not been immune from criticism resulting from a high number of dropped passes. [http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/sports/15954711.htm] , [http://www.miami.com/mld/philly/sports/columnists/16056830.htm] Through 12 games, Smith has 41 receptions with four TDs.
On February 19 2008, he was designated the
franchise playerof the Eagles.
L.J. was included in the 2005 Chunky Soup commercials featuring
Donovan McNabb. Enjoys playing basketballand was a tremendous basketball prospect who drew interest from a number of Division I programs including Florida Stateand various schools from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. He currently resides in Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey.
* [http://www.lj82.com/ Official Website]
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