Former Utah Utes star and current Washington quarterback Alex Smith won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award on Saturday night. It was a well-deserved honor for Smith, who overcame a horrific leg injury that nearly led to amputation and helped Washington win the NFC East title in 2020.
Smith was surprised with a video featuring tributes from players and coaches around the NFL, as well as his wife Elizabeth. It included former Utah coach Urban Meyer and teammates Eric Weddle and Brian Johnson.
Here’s what they had to say.
“I just wanted to say congrats on the Comeback Player of the Year. What an amazing achievement. We all knew it, you’re not a quitter, you’re a fighter. What a story to be told. Just wanted to say that I love you, I look up to you, and you inspire us all.”
“Congratulations on an incredible comeback journey. I’m proud to call you a friend and a brother. What you’ve been able to accomplish is not only an inspiration to so many people around the world, it’s an outstanding example for Hudson, Hayes and Sloane (Smith’s children). The strength that you and Liz (Elizabeth, Smith’s wife) have both displayed to navigate such a difficult time has been nothing short of amazing. We love you guys and we can’t wait to see you in person soon.”
“Hey Alex, this is your old coach and one of your greatest admirers. You’re an inspiration to me and and you always have been. From that skinny, 190-pound quarterback that took over and became the best player in college football in 2004. I always knew you were extremely tough, but I had no idea until I saw that documentary about you and your family and how you overcame this. I can’t imagine there’s a better fan club out there than the Meyer family for Alex Smith. Love you bro.”