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Tody Smith

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Tody Smith

Tody Smith
No. 85, 70
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1948-12-24)December 24, 1948
Place of birth: Orange, Texas
Date of death: July 18, 1999(1999-07-18) (aged 50)
Place of death: Los Angeles, California
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school: Charlton-Pollard High School
College: Southern California
NFL draft: 1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 69
Stats at

Lawrence Edward Smith (December 24, 1948 – July 18, 1999) was an American football defensive end in the National Football League.


  • High school career 1
  • College career 2
  • Professional career 3
    • Dallas Cowboys 3.1
    • Houston Oilers 3.2
    • Buffalo Bills 3.3
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3.4
  • Personal 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

High school career

Smith was a prep All-American at Charlton-Pollard High School in Beaumont, Texas, where he played for his father W.R. Smith. He acquired his nickname in a junior high school Spanish class. Apparently Tody came from toro (bull), because he was the largest boy in his class.

College career

He attended Michigan State University but transferred to the University of Southern California after his sophomore year,[1] where he became a standout defensive tackle and a member of the original "Wild Bunch".[2]

Smith teamed in the defensive line with Al Cowlings, Jimmy Gunn, Willard "Bubba" Scott, and Charlie Weaver to form in 1969 "The Wild Bunch," which was key for USC to compile a 10-0-1 record and a No. 3 ranking after a victory over Michigan University in the 1970 Rose Bowl.

The Wild Bunch was a hit movie in 1969 and it was Cowlings who dubbed the defensive line 'The Wild Bunch' for their reckless abandon and hard-nosed style of play. Playing in an era of powerful running games, they allowed just 2.3 yards per carry and a league-low 95.6 rushing yards a game.

Smith was one of the five USC African American starters (along with Sam Cunningham, Jimmy Jones, Clarence Davis and Charlie Weaver), that played against an all-white University of Alabama football team, winning 42-21 in Birmingham on September 12, 1970. This game was historically significant, because it was a factor in convincing the University of Alabama and its fan base to accelerate the integration of its football team.[3]

He played two seasons (1969–70) for the Trojans. In 1969 he was honorable Mention All PAC-8 and in 1970 he was a second-team All-American, even though he played only four games as a senior because of an ankle injury.

There is a statue of him and the other four "Wild Bunch" defensive linemen at USC's Heritage Hall.[4] He also appeared in the famed gunslinger photo of the five of them.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Smith was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1st round of the 1971 NFL Draft as a defensive end. An ankle injury suffered during his senior season at college limited him to only 7 games during his rookie year. He spent the first seven games of the season on the team's taxi squad, but when he joined the 40-man roster, he quickly convinced the Cowboys he had a future in the NFL and even contributed in the Cowboys win in Super Bowl VI.

Although he had surgery during the off-season on an injured knee, head coach Tom Landry seemed convinced Smith had the capability to start in 1972.

After a disappointing second year where he only played 10 games, he was traded along with Billy Parks before the 1973 season to the Houston Oilers, for their first and third round draft picks in the 1974 NFL Draft.[5] For the first time in their history, the Dallas Cowboys would have the first overall draft choice which they used to select Ed "Too Tall" Jones.[6] With the third round pick they acquired, the Cowboys selected Danny White.

Houston Oilers

Smith was a starter for the Houston Oilers for the next 3 seasons before being waived injured in 1976.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills claimed him off waivers in 1976,[7] where he played only 2 games and retired at the end of the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Smith was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1977, but was released before the season started.[8]


Smith's brother was actor and former NFL Pro Bowler Bubba Smith. Like his brother, Tody appeared in a few films, including The Hollywood Knights and eventually became his agent. Smith was married to Chae Castillo, a professional model/actress. They had a daughter (Rheo Smith) and a son (Dakota Castillo-Smith).

He died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles in 1999.[9]


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External links

  • Tody Smith: Bubba's Little Brother
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