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Junior Sammie Smith to Ask NFL Draft

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Associated Press

Junior tailback Sammie Smith today announced that he will skip his senior season at third-ranked Florida State and apply for the NFL draft.

Smith, the most valuable player in the Seminoles’ 13-7 Sugar Bowl victory over Auburn Monday night, is eligible to apply for the draft because his freshman class will graduate this spring.

Smith received a medical hardship in 1985, his first year at FSU, and then played three full seasons. He would have had one year of college eligibility remaining.

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Will Continue Studies

The social science major said he will continue studies at Florida State to get his degree.

“I need 30 hours to get my degree, and I have promised my mom that I would definitely get it,” he said. “I will return to FSU next week and take 15 hours this spring. If I have to get the other 15 hours in the off-season next year, then that’s what I’ll do.”

Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said Smith told him of his decision Wednesday night by telephone.

“I was truly hoping that he would change his mind, but he felt he was doing what he needed to do,” Bowden said. “I wish him all the success in the world. Smith was the Seminoles’ leading rusher the last two seasons. His 1,230 yards in 1987 established the school’s single-season rushing record.

He finishes as Florida State’s third leading rusher all-time with 2,539 yards. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry throughout his career.

Smith rushed for 577 yards on 108 carries in 1988, not including a 115-yard performance on 24 carries in the Sugar Bowl and a 205-yard night in the 1986 All-American bowl--another MVP effort.

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