NEW YORK CITY, NY – Former WKU defensive end Quanterus Smith was selected by the Denver Broncos with the No. 146 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft Saturday afternoon, making him the 28th drafted player in WKU football history.
Smith is the fifth player in WKU history to be selected in the fifth round or better and the first Hilltopper drafted since the Cincinnati Bengals selected Jeremi Johnson in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Smith is just the 10th WKU NFL draftee in the past 30 years and the first Hilltopper drafted by the Broncos.
“I’m very excited, I’m glad this opportunity came," Smith said on a Denver Broncos conference call. "I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity. It’s an overwhelming feeling.”
Smith ended his WKU career last fall tied as the Sun Belt Conference’s all-time leader in sacks at 24 and was half a sack shy of setting the single-season record before suffering a season-ending injury on Nov. 17. He ended the year with 12.5 sacks in 10 games, making him the nation’s leader in sacks per game at 1.25.
The Loganville, Ga., product also set a conference record when he finished with 5.0 sacks in a win at Florida International - the second-highest single-game total in NCAA history. Additionally, he was also credited with 3.5 sacks at Arkansas State and 3.0 sacks at Alabama.
Smith had three sacks against Alabama, all of which came against tackle D.J. Fluker, the No.11 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Smith’s sacks were the most the eventual national champions gave up to an opposing player in 2012. Smith posted multiple tackles for loss in five games, including a career best 5.5 at Arkansas State. He was also credited with three forced fumbles, and returned his one fumble recovery 75 yards for a touchdown late in the game against Florida Atlantic.
Smith joins former All-American running back Bobby Rainey, a 2012 Baltimore Ravens signee, as the only active Hilltoppers in the NFL. The Broncos host their first rookie mini-camp May 11-13 and begin official team activities May 21.
WKU NFL Draft Selections
Quanterus Smith – 2013, Denver Broncos 5th round
Jeremi Johnson – 2003, Cincinnati Bengals 4th round
Joseph Jefferson – 2002, Indianapolis Colts 3rd round (Highest selection in WKU history)
Mel Mitchell – 2002, New Orleans Saints 5th round
Milton Biggins – 1992, Miami Dolphins 12th round
Jerome Martin – 1990, Green Bay Packers 10th round
Webbie Burnett – 1990, New Orleans Saints 11th round
David Smith – 1988, Philadelphia Eagles 8th round
Paul Gray – 1984, New Orleans Saints 10th round
Davlin Mullen – 1983, New York Jets 8th round
Lamont Meacham – 1982, Baltimore Colts 11th round
Eddie Preston – 1980, Houston Oilers 11h round
David Carter – 1977, Houston Oilers 6th round
Rick Caswell – 1976, New York Giants 13th round
Virgil Livers – 1975, Chicago Bears 4th round
John Bushong – 1975, Baltimore Colts 8th round
Mike McCoy – 1974, Houston Oilers 8th round
Clarence Jackson – 1974, New York Jets 16th round
Isaac “Ike” Brown – 1973, New England Patriots 8th round
Lawrence Brame – 1972, St. Louis Cardinals 16th round
Billy Green – 1971, Cleveland Browns 15th round
Sam Pearson – 1971, Cincinnati Bengals 17th round
Dale Lindsey – 1965, Cleveland Browns 7th round
Jim Burt – 1965, Los Angeles Rams 10th round
Bill Strawn – 1956, Philadelphia Eagles 28th round
Robert Simpson – 1953, New York Giants
Jimmy Feix – 1953, New York Giants
Frank Wallheiser – 1950, Chicago Cardinals 12th round
How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Football, follow the program via social media @WKUFootball on Twitter and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUFootball.