Chiefs QB Alex Smith to get honorary doctorate from Utah

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04/22/2014 6:14 PM

05/16/2014 1:19 PM

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who graduated in three years from the University of Utah with a degree in economics, will give the school’s commencement address at graduation ceremonies on May 1.

“I’m humbled to give it it’s been sitting in the back of my head, the entire off-season, knowing I have to give this speech,” said Smith, who will receive an honorary doctorate at the ceremony. “It’s a big honor. It’s something different. I don’t do a ton of public speaking, especially in front of that many people.”

The university is a special place to Smith, who committed $500,000 to the Utah athletic department in 2007 as the lead gift to the Alex Smith Strength and Conditioning Facility.

“All of our alma maters have a special place for all of us but certainly me,” said Smith, the first overall pick in the 2005 draft by San Francisco. “I wasn’t highly recruited, Utah gave me an opportunity, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t make that decision and didn’t go there.”

Asked what the theme of his speech will be, Smith joked and said: “They should work really hard on running fast and throwing the ball far and they will have a great future.”