Former Carolina Panthers Running Back Rod Smart Found After Previously Being Reported Missing

Rod Smart
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18: Rod Smart #32 of the Carolina Panthers returns a kick against the New England Patriots at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2005 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the Patriots 27-17. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

After being reported missing in South Carolina by friends and family, former Carolina Panthers running back and XFL standout Rod Smart has reportedly been located and is “safe” at this time.

The 42-year-old was classified as a “missing endangered person” by police in South Carolina early on Tuesday, with officials also adding that the Smart’s family was “worried about his safety and well-being.” Before being located, friends of Smart hadn’t seen the former XFL star in a little over six days, which the crew deemed “unusual” for him, seeing as he kept in good contact with them.

Former Carolina Panthers Running Back Rod Smart Found Safe

College

The Florida native continued his education at Western Kentucky University, where he starred at the running back position. The first-team All-Gateway Conference player finished his college career with 2,305 total yards, 356 carries, and 21 touchdowns.

Time Spent in the NFL, CFL, and the XFL

After going undrafted in the 2000 NFL Draft, Smart signed with the San Diego Chargers. Unfortunately, Smart was later released after the team’s training camp. From here, the young running back decided to take his talents to the XFL, where he famously put “He Hate Me” on the back of his jersey. After the XFL’s season ended, Smart joined the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL but was released prior to the season.

Later on, the Philadelphia Eagles picked up the free agent and promoted him to the active roster. Smart appeared in six games for the Eagles, mainly on special teams, and rushed for six yards on two carries. After being released by the Eagles upon the conclusion of the 2001 season, Smart was picked up by the Panthers, where he appeared in all 16 games of the team’s regular season. Smart played for the Panthers from 2002 to 2006, when he was released by the organization.

Following his release from the Panthers, Smart went on to sign with the Oakland Raiders. He battled during various camps to secure a spot on the final 53-man roster, but failed to make the cut. In 2008, the veteran running back was drafted by Team Tennessee during the inaugural draft of the All-American Football League. The league, however, dispersed before the season began, releasing all players of the contracts and making them all free agents.

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