Willis Smith


Willis (Wee Willie) Smith may have stood at 5-feet, 6 inches and weighed 147 pounds, but the “Little Giant” played much bigger than that on the football field for the Vandals. Smith played in both the offensive and defensive backfield for Idaho from 1929-32.

He compiled a career rushing total of 3,029 yards – which lasted as the Idaho school record for 62 years – on a career average of 8.73 yards per carry. After his Idaho career, Smith moved on to the professional ranks, where he helped the New York Giants win a 1934 NFL Championship in the famous “Sneakers Game” upset of George Halas’ mighty Chicago Bears team. Newspaper stories from the championship game against the Bears reported that “Wee Willie” Smith made several key tackles of Bronko Nagurski, an NFL Hall of Fame fullback – who outweighed Smith by 100 pounds.

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