He played quarterback for the University of Utah while wearing number 11. He finished 4th in the voting for the 2004 Heisman Trophy, and was selected as the 2004 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. Smith graduated from the University of Utah with an economics degree in just two years with a 3.71 GPA. Smith operated former Utah and current Florida head coach Urban Meyer's spread option offense in 2004 during Utah's 12-0 season in which they beat Pittsburgh 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl. Smith was named offensive MVP of that game as Utah became the first team from outside of a BCS conference to play in a BCS bowl.
Smith is from Bonita, California and went to school in La Mesa, California where he played football at Helix High School. His father, Doug Smith, is the principal there. His mother is Pam Smith. While at Helix, he played with 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, who was also a finalist for the 2004 award, making it the first time a high school had two finalists at the ceremony.
Smith was the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, selected by the San Francisco 49ers. In July 2005, Smith agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million contract with the 49ers; the contract includes $24 million in guaranteed money. He wears jersey number 11 with the 49ers.
Entering training camp, 49ers coach Mike Nolan declared an open competition between Smith and incumbent Tim Rattay for the starting quarterback position. Rattay won out and started the first four games of the season. On October 4, 2005, however, Nolan declared Smith the starter for the fifth game, against the Indianapolis Colts. He was injured the next week on a scramble when hit by Lavar Arrington when the 49ers lost to the Washington Redskins.
He threw his first touchdown on January 1, 2006 against the Houston Texans. He struggled mightily through his first NFL season throwing for 875 yards, completing just 50.9% of his throws (84/165), along with one touchdown, 11 interceptions and 11 fumbles to finish with a 40.8 passer rating; that touchdown came in the 49ers' last game of the season. His rookie statistics are among the worst of any rookie in NFL history, and many have attributed it to his long windup throwing motion and the spectacularly poor play of the rest of the offense - the offensive line in particular. Though Smith had an unimpressive first season, his final two games, against the Rams and Texans were his two best of the year. In St. Louis, He completed 12 of 16 passes and threw no interceptions en route to a 98.7 rating and a win for his team. In Monster Park against Houston, Smith threw his first touchdown, and won the game in overtime.
<stats> Player=Alex Smith Sport=NFL </stats>