Today is July 18, 2019, which means we are officially just 44 days away from the Virginia Tech Hokies opening the college football season at Boston College. Yesterday, we profiled the school’s all-time leading rusher, Cyrus Lawrence.
In yesterday’s article we stated that Roscoe Coles and Lawrence were the first great running backs in Virginia Tech history. Well, that is not entirely true, as today’s profile for No. 44 happened to be the Hokies’ all-time leading rusher until Coles broke that record a few years later. Terry Smoot played for the Hokies from 1967-69 and when he left Blacksburg, he did so as the all-time leading rusher by almost 400 yards.
In Smoot’s first season with the Hokies, he carried the ball 68 times for 356 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged over five yards per carry. During that season, he played in all 10 games and split carries with George Constantinides and Ken Edwards. The Hokies finished with a 7-3 record.
In 1968, Smoot once again led the Hokies in rushing. He carried the ball 196 times for 820 yards for an average of 4.2 yards per rush. He also scored eight touchdowns and finished second on the team in receiving with 12 catches. Remember, the passing game wasn’t as prevalent then as it is now and Smoot showed the ability to be a good receiver out of the backfield. The Hokies were 7-4 that season.
Smoot continued his brilliance in 1969. He again led the Hokies in rushing with 940 yards and scored 12 touchdowns, which ranked in the top five in the country that season. For the third straight season, he split time with fullback Ken Edwards and this season he also split carries with Perry Tiberio, making his then-school record even more impressive.
Smoot left Virginia Tech as the most decorated running back in school history. Sure, his records were broken a few years later, but that doesn’t discount his outstanding collegiate career. He led the team in rushing in each of his seasons and can truly be called ‘Virginia Tech’s first standout running back.’