Minneapolis (gophersports.com) - University of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck announced Monday that senior running back Rodney Smith will miss the rest of the season as a result of an injury sustained in the first quarter against Fresno State last Saturday.

“I am devastated for Rodney, but I know he will keep his oar in the water and continue to move forward and attack his rehabilitation process,” said Fleck. “He is a leader on this team and I look forward to him working with our young players as we continue to grow this season.

“We will file a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility with the NCAA right after the season is over. We believe Rodney meets all the requirements for the waiver and fully expect that it will be granted.”

In two games this year, Smith rushed for 154 yards on 25 carries and also added 32 receiving yards and 37 kick return yards.

Smith is one of the best to ever wear the Maroon and Gold. In 39 career games, he has rushed 651 times (fifth all-time in school history) for 2,959 yards (seventh all-time in school history) and scored 21 (2 in 2015; 16 in 2016 and 3 in 2017) career rushing touchdowns (tied for ninth in school history). His 4,073 all-purpose yards (2,959 rushing, 451 receiving and 663 kick return) ranks seventh in school history.

In his career, Smith has been named All-Big Ten Third Team (2016) and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention (2017). He also received the team's Bronko Nagurski Award (Team MVP) in 2016 and 2017 and in 2016 he was honored with the team's Bruce Smith Award (Outstanding Offensive Player) and was named the Bob McNamara Offensive Back of the Year.

Smith has already graduated with a degree in Human Development and Youth Studies. During his time in Dinkytown, he has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club and also interned with Hennepin County Child Protection Services.

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