While there was some discussion about whether other players such as Cris Carter deserved a snub, there can be little argument that Emmitt Smith deserved to go into the Hall of Fame during his first-year on the ballot.
Smith, just the second Florida Gator to make it to the Hall after Jack Youngblood, was without a doubt one of the most dominating running backs of the ’90s and just a big a reason for the Dallas Cowboys three Super Bowl wins during that decade as anyone else (and even more so than Michael Irvin….)
Smith is the all-time NFL rushing leader with 18,355 yards and scored 164 rushing touchdowns and posted 11 consecutive seasons where he rushed for more than 1,000 yards.
Smith of course remains one of the Gators most outstanding players and rushed for 3,928 yards, the second highest total in school history. (The all-time rushing leader in Gators history is Errict Rhett, who finished with 235 yards more than Smith, but played during four seasons.) Smith still holds the all-time season rushing record in UF when he put an astounding 1,599 yards in 1989. That same season he rushed for 319 yards against New Mexico, which is also a Gators record.
There can be little doubt that Smith remains one of the best players to ever suit up for a Florida college team and one of the best players from Florida to play in the NFL.