Abram Smith’s journey to the NFL is nothing short of a roller-coaster. From dazzling at Baylor, a brief but bright stint with the New Orleans Saints, to then dominating the XFL’s DC Defenders’ ground game, Smith is now poised to shake up the Minnesota Vikings’ backfield.
The New Orleans Saints once saw potential in Smith, the hard-charging Baylor Bears running back who turned heads during the 2022 preseason. However, his time with the Saints was fleeting, not making it past the opening-day roster. Not one to be discouraged, Smith took his talents to the XFL, where he emerged as a league leader with an impressive 925 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns, and 124 receiving yards in a single season. This feat caught the NFL’s attention, leading to tryouts with the Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Raiders, and finally the Minnesota Vikings.
Vikings fans have another reason to be excited, as their team has added not just one but two XFL standouts this year: Lucky Jackson and now, Abram Smith. Given the current state of the Vikings’ roster, Smith’s addition creates an enticing storyline for the preseason. With Alexander Mattison nursing an injury and relative novices like Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and DeWayne McBride vying for spots, the door seems wide open for Smith to solidify his position.
Smith’s football journey offers several surprises, not least of which is his commendable collegiate record. After battling a torn ACL and redshirt years, Smith rebounded in 2021, amassing 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging a staggering 6.2 yards per carry.
But before this, in a surprising turn, he switched positions from running back to linebacker in 2020, recording 48 tackles in just five games. His versatility and resilience caught the eye of the Saints, leading to a short-lived NFL debut before finding success in the XFL.
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