Riders sign former NFL running back Rodney Smith

Photo AP/Matt Patterson

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American running back Rodney Smith.

The five-foot-eleven, 210-pound ball-carrier signed with the Carolina Panthers after going unselected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He recorded 41 carries for 156 yards and one touchdown as a rookie along with nine catches for 59 yards and one touchdown.

The native of Atlanta was released at the conclusion of training camp in 2021 but did a six-week stint on Carolina’s practice roster. He later joined practice rosters with the Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions but has been a free agent down south since January 2022.

The 27-year-old was a standout over five seasons at the University of Minnesota. After redshirting in 2014, he recorded 879 carries for 4,125 yards and 29 touchdowns along with 65 receptions for 521 yards. He also contributed on special teams, returning 30 kicks for 798 yards and two touchdowns.

Smith left the Golden Gophers ranked second all-time in school history rushing yards, second all-time in yards from scrimmage, and first all-time in all-purpose yards. He was named third-team All-Big Ten in 2016 and second-team All-Big Ten in 2019. He was granted a medical redshirt in 2018 after suffering a torn ACL in the second game of the season.