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Justin Smith (born September 30, 1979 in Jefferson Citymarker, Missourimarker) is an American football defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. He was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals fourth overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at Missouri.

Early years

Smith played high school football for Jefferson City High Schoolmarker.

College years

While majoring in General Studies at Missouri he entered the 2001 NFL Draft following his junior year. In his junior season at Missouri he logged 11 sacks, 24 tackles-for-loss and 97 total tackles. His sacks and tackles-for-loss set school season records, and he set the school's sacks record two years in a row, having logged eight as a sophomore. As a junior he earned First-team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America and was a unanimous selection to First-team All-Big 12. As a sophomore he also earned First-team All-Big 12 honors. In 1998, became first true freshman since 1986 to start every game for Missouri.

Professional career

Cincinnati Bengals

Justin was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in first round (fourth overall) of the 2001 NFL draft. He signed with the team on September 8th, following protracted contract negotiations, and had roster exemption for the September 9th season opener vs. New England. He signed a six year, $10 million contract that included a $1.25 million signing bonus. Despite missing all of the preseason plus the first regular-season game, Smith logged a Bengals rookie-record 8.5 sacks, breaking mark of 8.0 set by James Francis in 1990. He finished second on the line in total tackles (53) and first in solos (41) and had the second-most sacks by an NFL rookie in 2001, topped only by the 9.0 of Pittsburgh’s Kendrell Bell.

In his second season with the Bengals, he started every game at RDE and led team in sacks (6.5), led defensive line in tackles (59) and also led the team in sack yardage (56). He played 95.5 percent of the defensive snaps (934 of 978), second on team. He ended the season with 6.5 sacks, giving him a total of 15 for his first two seasons, most by a Cincinnati Bengal in his first two seasons since 1976-77.

In his third season with the Bengals, he recorded 60 tackles of which 41 were solo. He also added another 5.0 sacks. Where he also played as an outside linebacker.

His fourth season saw him lead team in sacks (8.0) and sack yardage (70.5). He also lead the defense in snaps played (94.4 percent), and he recorded 70 tackles.

In 2005, despite tearing his ACL in week 13 and missing 4 games, Smith led the team once again in sacks (6.0), making it his third time to lead the team in his five seasons. In his other two seasons, he finished one sack or less behind the team leader. By the end of his fifth year, he had moved into fifth place on Bengals all-time sacks list with a total of 34.

On February 15, 2007 the Bengals designated the franchise tag on him. He signed the one-year franchise contract that earned him $8.64 million in 2007. He led the league in assisted tackles in 2007 with 29.

San Francisco 49ers

On March 1, 2008 he signed a six-year, $45 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers. The deal included an $11 million signing bonus. . In his first season with San Francisco, Smith registered 7 sacks, 73 tackles and one interception.

Personal

Justin is originally from the town of Holts Summit, Missourimarker, which is near Jefferson City, the state capital. He earned All-State honors and was two-time all-district football choice at Jefferson City High School. While at JCHS, he was selected to SuperPrep's All-American and Top 50 teams as a senior. He now lives year-round in Cincinnati, Ohiomarker with his wife and dogs, and enjoys playing golf. His favorite cartoon character is Superman and according to him, sushi is the best meal before a game. His dogs names are Harley, Lady, Bear, Red. He is also owner of Railwood Golf Club in Holts Summit, Missouri.

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