Former Buckeyes Will Smith and Malcolm Jenkins were crowned Super Bowl XLIV Champions Sunday along with the rest of their New Orleans Saints teammates.
Smith, an honorable mention All-Pro during the regular season, recorded 56 tackles and 13 sacks in 2009. His 13 sacks during the regular season were fifth-most in the league. Smith also recovered a team-leading four fumbles. Jenkins, a rookie first-round draft selection, had 55 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception on the season.
In Super Bowl XLIV, the two combined to help the Saints pull away from Indianapolis by helping to hold one of the league’s most potent offenses to just one scoring drive in the second half. Smith, who started at right defensive end, was credited with one solo tackle and Jenkins, a key reserve in the defensive backfield, recorded one pass deflection and four tackles, including one on special teams and one tackle for loss.
Jenkins and Smith are no strangers to championship games. As a junior in 2002, Smith was an integral part of Ohio State’s run to a perfect 14-0 season and the Buckeyes’ first national championship since 1968. In the Fiesta Bowl vs. No. 1 Miami, Smith had eight tackles and a sack in Ohio State’s 31-24 double-overtime victory. Jenkins played in consecutive Bowl Championship Series national title games for Ohio State in 2006 and ’07.
Prior to the NFL, Smith earned three varsity letters at Ohio State (2000-03). As a senior in 2003, he served as team captain, a season in which he also earned All-America accolades after registering 10.5 quarterback sacks.
Jenkins, a four-year letter winner (2005-08), captained the 2008 Buckeyes to a fourth-consecutive appearance in a BCS bowl game. He was a two-time All-America selection (2007-08) and won the 2008 Thorpe Award for the nation’s top defensive back.