Former Utah Utes Duo Inducted Into Panthers Hall Of Honor

Oct 6, 2019, 8:18 PM | Updated: Oct 7, 2019, 9:08 am
(L-R) Former Carolina Panthers players, Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith speak before the game against...
(L-R) Former Carolina Panthers players, Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith speak before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Bank of America Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Former Utah Utes duo Steve Smith and Jordan Gross were inducted in the Carolina Panthers Hall of Honor at a ceremony held during Carolina’s game against Jacksonville.

During his speech, Smith was emotional when talking about his time in Carolina. He ended by taking off his blazer and shirt which had his Super Bowl 38 No. 89 jersey underneath.

“I’d like to thank Mr. (Jerry) Richardson and Marty Hurney for drafting me and Mr. (David) Tepper for bringing me back,” Smith said during his induction speech. “I would like to thank George Seifert for drafting me and John Fox for believing in me and Ron Rivera for giving me a chance as well. I never thought I would be back in this stadium but I am and I am happy to be here. I love the fans, I love this city that invested in me and so I thought I could never wear another Carolina Panthers jersey ever again, so I thought for one last time (removes shirt and shows Super Bowl jersey), now the next step is make sure no one wears this number again.”

The former Ute was selected in the third round, 74th overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.

Smith played 12 seasons with the Panthers before joining the Ravens for the final three seasons of his career. While with the Panthers, he caught 836 passes for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns.

When Gross had his chance to speak

“I want to say thank you to the Carolina Panthers fans, thank you to the ownership, both old and new, faculty, all of my teammates, coaches, family and friends,” Gross said. “We are all born with a dream inside of us and it’s prideful to put that into action because you know the world will be there to tell you when you fail. But compare your life to your life, know that there is greatness inside of you and a winner isn’t nothing but somebody that gets up when they are down. Decide what to be and go be it.”

Gross spent all 10 seasons of his NFL career as an offensive lineman with the Panthers after being drafted as the eighth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.

The Panthers won the game that honored Smith and other Carolina greats, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-27.

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