Smith rushed for 988 yards on the year (not including the bowl game) at 110 yards per game, the lowest totals of his college career.
He fell to the 17th pick in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft, when he was chosen by the Dallas Cowboys, who traded up to draft him.
Smith was the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,400 rushing yards or more in five consecutive seasons.
In track & field, Smith competed as a sprinter and was a member of the 4x100m (42.16 s) relay squad.
For his efforts, Smith was named the USA Today and Parade magazine high school player of the year for 1986.
Recruiting expert Max Emfinger said of Smith, "Emmitt Smith is a lugger, not a runner. He did not start the first two games of his college career in the fall of 1987, but made the most of his opportunities in a second-week rout of Tulsa in which he gained 109 yards on just ten carries, including a 66-yard touchdown run.
That performance earned him a spot in the starting lineup the following week in the Gators' SEC opener against Alabama at Legion Field.
He finished the 1987 season with 1,341 yards and was named Southeastern Conference and National Freshman of the Year.
He also finished ninth in that year's Heisman voting.
In his first collegiate start, Smith promptly broke Florida's 57-year old all-time single game rushing record, carrying 39 times for 224 yards and two touchdowns as the Gators upset the Crimson Tide.