Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith has been selected by his teammates as the team's 2001 Ed Block Courage Award recipient. Smith, 32, underwent three abdominal surgeries in the spring and returned to the lineup and is still one of the top wide receivers in professional football.
Through 12 games of this season, Smith has caught 87 passes for 1,085 yards and six touchdowns. He is on pace to catch 116 passes, which would tie his Jaguars' single-season record. With 1,000 yards receiving in six straight seasons, he is one of only five players to accomplish that feat in NFL history. And he is two touchdowns shy of his own season record for receiving touchdowns.
A veteran free agent signed six months before the Jaguars' first game in 1995, Smith has been named to four Pro Bowls. In seven seasons, he has caught 559 passes for 7,972 yards and 42 touchdowns, all Jaguars career records.
Each year the Ed Block Courage Awards honor those players who overcome adversity on the field, possess strong character and a will to endure life's trials, and who continuously strive for excellence on and off the field. Ed Block Courage Award recipients are selected by a vote of their teammates. The Jaguars awarded the honor to DE Paul Frase in 1995, TE Derek Brown in 1996, CB Dave Thomas in 1997, QB Mark Brunell in 1998, RB James Stewart in 1999 and OT Tony Boselli in 2000.
The Jaguars' other nominees this year were Mike Hollis, Mark Baniewicz, John Wade and Zach Wiegert. Past winners are not eligible.
All 31 of this year's Ed Block Courage Award recipients - one from each team - will be honored at a banquet next spring in Baltimore. Proceeds from the event benefit abused children of The Courage House National Support Network.