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Former Utah WR Steve Smith Returning To Carolina Panthers As Preseason Broadcaster

Sportscaster Steve Smith on the set of NFL Networks Thursday Night Football broadcast after an NFL regular season game between the Washington Football Team and Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 in Minneapolis. The Vikings won, 19-9. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah Utes and NFL wide receiver Steve Smith plans to return to the team that drafted him as a broadcast analyst during the 2021 preseason.

The Panthers announced Smith’s return to the organization as preseason broadcaster on Monday, June 14.

Smith will partner with Panthers TV play-by-play Taylor Zarzour for Carolina’s three preseason games this fall.

The former Utah receiver played 16 seasons in the league, including 13 years with the Panthers.

Steve Smith at Utah

After high school, Smith attended Santa Monica College for two years. Following his time with the Corsairs, Smith transferred to the University of Utah, where he starred at wide receiver for the Utes.

He was named first-team All-Mountain West in his first year with the U of U.

During his two seasons with Utah, Smith had 78 receptions for 1,603 yards and 12 touchdowns.

After his senior season, Smith was honored as the MVP of the East-West Shrine Game.

Steve Smith in the NFL

During the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft, the Panthers selected Smith with the No. 74 overall pick.

Smith would go on to play the first 13 years of his NFL career in Carolina.

He helped the Panthers reach Super Bowl XXXVIII in his third season.

During his time with the Panthers, Smith made 836 catches for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns.

In 2014, the former Utah standout joined the Baltimore Ravens.

He played the final three seasons of his career with Baltimore.

As a Raven, Smith had 195 receptions for 2,534 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Smith finished his NFL career with 1,031 catches for 14,731 yards and 81 touchdowns.

He was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2005, the same year he led the league in catches, receiving yards, and touchdown catches.

During his career, Smith was honored a five-time Pro-Bowl selection and three times as an All-Pro member.

Carolina Panthers Preseason

The Panthers begin their preseason slate against the Indianapolis Colts on August 15.

Carolina follows up that game with contests against the Ravens, Smith’s former team, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Panthers start the regular season against the New York Jets on September 12.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).