Alabama’s very own homegrown product played LB two years for the Crimson Tide in 88 and 89.
Highly regarded specimen coming out, finished with 156 solo tackles (216 total), 2 interceptions, 6 sacks, and a fumble recovery over college career.
Selected #4 overall in the 1990 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Converted to DE in 1991, posting 54 tackles and 5 sacks that year.
Almost duplicated those numbers again in ’92, with 58 tackles and 5 sacks.
Converted back again to LB in ’93, but was cut and later signed by the Houston Oilers.
Used as a hybrid tweener DE/LB by Oilers.
After about a season and a half in Houston, signed with the Cardinals as a free agent during the ’94 campaign.
Recorded first career TD, intercepting a Steve Walsh (CHI) pass and returning it 46 yards.
Played one final season in Arizona, in 95, but not before recovering a fumble for a TD for second career defensive TD.
Loved scuba so much, that after playing career ended, broke barriers by becoming the first black marine conservation officer.
After that was extremely rough. Battled drug addictions, starting with painkillers in playing days, and advancing to more hard stuff after career had ended when those weren’t available.
Battled homelessness, financial destitution and attempted to commit suicide in jail.
Still managed to emerge from trauma, and by 2015 had written a book about his playing time and even started working as an afternoon sports radio personality in Tampa.
Perhaps the direst of set needs, when this autograph of his showed up on EBay alongside a host of other Bucs autos from the same vendor, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up.
Over the years, Keith had some amazing cards. He was there for the big boom, and had some great ones from 1989’s Pro Set entry to Game Day 1992.
Of small note, Keith was one of the more recognizable players on the Oilers, who got into the middle of and broke up the fight between Buddy Ryan and Kevin Gilbride.
One that just got away…
I mean, really what can I say about Keith? Don’t do drugs just somehow rings hollow- like both sarcastically and in a sense that it just doesn’t do enough justice to fix the problem…. You know like, “Thoughts and prayers.” -Especially when it comes to things like painkillers and prescription over the counter drugs.
I wrote to Keith and failed in 2018. Afterwards I was told he was on Facebook, so I reached out and started having conversations over the next few months with him supposedly on Facebook. I sent him an updated Facebook header and then he’d send me chain letter links and scriptures, but beyond that we didn’t get anywhere on autographs. Sometimes he’d initiate conversations. I unfortunately wondered even then if it was just a byproduct of a bender or something he was struggling with. Strangely it abruptly stopped right after I announced my father’s passing, however I wonder if that was just coincidental.
I was happy to know later that he was doing better, and had recently, with the help of a good samaritan, gotten his hip successfully replaced.
Unfortunately those demons of drug abuse again came to roost. Maybe he was a functioning addict. Who knows when or where it all started up again or if he was truly clean for the umpteenth time? All of that doesn’t matter.
All those dreams… All those memories…
He died of a drug overdose on September 2nd, 2021. -He was just 53.
Spent 3 years at Alabama before transferring out to Arizona for senior season.
Played all around the defensive line before settling down at DE.
All-Pac10 selection in 1989, had 71 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 5 sacks as a Senior.
11th overall selection in the 1990 draft by the then Los Angeles Raiders.
Missed entire rookie season with knee injury during preseason.
Burst onto the scene in 1991 racking up 10.5 sacks- to rank second on the team.
Had an even more impressive 1992, with 13 sacks, 31 combined tackles and 6 forced fumbles as situational starter.
In 1993, had 12.5 sacks, 52 combined tackles, and 1 forced fumble.
Scored a 25 yard TD off a fumble recovery against the Dolphins in 1994.
Played 7 seasons with the Raiders from 1990 to 1997, spending final offseason with the Broncos in 1998.
Who knows what really happened to Anthony Smith?
“I’m a member of BMAP- the Black Male Achievement Program. I go to different schools to tell young people that if drugs are what they want to do, that if they want to destroy their lives, go on and do it. But stay away from the people that don’t want to do it.
Go ahead, kill yourself, but don’t kill other people. Don’t try to urge other people to accept what you bow to. I try to convince kids that there are a lot of things you can do to be productive with your life”
– Anthony Smith 1992 Pro Line Portraits #370
In 2016, Anthony was convicted of 3 counts of murder, with special circumstances of torture, kidnapping and multiple murders, for the 1999 torture killing of two brothers and the 2001 slaying of another man. He was sentenced to 3 consecutive life sentences- without parole.
CARDS: Action Packed Rookies 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1991, Gameday 1992, Pro Set 1990 Lombardi Award Winner, Skybox 1992, Fleer 1990 ACQUIRED: 2020, Paid Signing
Linebacker that set Michigan State single season mark with 172 total tackles in 1989.
In 4 years playing for the Spartans, had 433 total tackles, 5 interceptions for 64 yards, 4 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries.
Was the Chiefs 1st round pick in 1990.
Had a solid rookie season with 69 total tackles, 2 sacks, and a pick earning all-rookie honors.
Expected to assume a bigger role in 1992, but a freak injury during training camp ended his season, after he blew out his knee.
Was a backup on the Chicago Bears in 1993, but didn’t see any action.
After a year off, played for the Rhein Fire in the retooled World League in 1995.
Lombardi Award Winner 1989
1989 Butkus Award Winner
College Football Hall of Fame
Well I went all out with a paid signing and got Percy Snow, who is a total no show in the TTM market. Many of these were set needs, and Percy had quite a nice selection of cards during his short playing career.
The promoter happened to be a member of our Facebook TTM group and after promoting and helping some other members nab a few of Percy’s autographs, I went ahead and bought a few more as at the time like many people working from home during the pandemic, I was flush with the extra money.
I really liked the Pro Set 1990 Lombardi Award Winner card. The gold frame above the green, coupled with solid, clean photography. All the other cards are amazingly all set needs, as these all exploded for me during the pandemic.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.