NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Ed Smith, the first Bahamian to be drafted by a National Football League (NFL) team, was selected to be the honorary ambassador for this year’s edition of the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl.
Smith, who began his pro career with the Denver Broncos, said he’s glad to see the way the bowl game has included community service as part of the event, because it helps to provide exposure for the game locally, which could result in more collegiate and pro players coming from The Bahamas.
“Football has done a lot for me and my family. It’s put me in the position that I’m in today and has also been beneficial to my son who played as well,” Smith said. “I enjoy seeing the excitement it brings to The Bahamas. The kids watching can learn a lot from this game and can one day aspire to get more involved in this. Football is a great teaching tool in life. It can become their livelihood or afford them the opportunity to get an education through scholarships.”
Smith went to school at St Augustine’s College, where he was a multi-sport athlete for The Big Red Machine. He moved to the United States in 1965 at age 15 and attended Denver’s George Washington High School, where he began to play football competitively.
He became a three-year starter at defensive end at nearby Colorado College, and he was selected by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as a 1972 College Division I Kodak All-American.
Smith was selected in the 13th round (No. 319 overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Broncos.