MGCCC’s Smith named to NJCAA All-American First Team
Published 4:52 pm Wednesday, December 22, 2021
PERKINSTON — Mike Smith helped make a lot of football history at Mississippi Gulf Coast, and he added another chunk of it Tuesday when he was named to the NJCAA Division I All-American First Team.
He’s the first Bulldog linebacker ever to make the First Team, winning after racking up 57 solo tackles and 90 total tackles. His solo tackles ranked seventh in the NJCAA and he was ninth in total tackles.
“Mike had a fantastic year,” Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright said. “He is a team leader and exemplifies everything a Regulator is and a teammate is. He’s so deserving of the award statically and because of his value to our team.”
Smith, who signed a letter of intent to play for NJCAA Division I Liberty, led the Bulldogs to outright or shared South titles in all three of his seasons at Perk. Gulf Coast lost only once to division foes during his career. He was also a vital member of the 2019 national championship team, and the Bulldogs went 24-3 during his career.
Smith, a sophomore from Flora, finished fourth in the MACCC with 90 total tackles. He had an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and four pass breakups.
He’s the sixth Bulldog to earn NJCAA All-American honors. Reggio Dean (Second Team, 2016), Chris White (Second Team, 2008), Kenny Larsen (Honorable Mention, 1971), Rusty Gill (Honorable Mention, 1970) and Lloyd Seymour (Second Team, 1968) are the others.
Gulf Coast has now had 60 All-Americans, and Smith is the 26th on the first team.
Smith finished his MGCCC career with 151 solo tackles and 248 total. He had 19 tackles for loss, seven sacks, three forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 10 pass break-ups.
“Even though this award honors him for the 2021 season,” Wright said, “it really should be viewed as an award that honors his entire three-year career here at Gulf Coast.”
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