Smith emotional while talking about dad

February, 6, 2010
2/06/10
7:52
PM ET
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Emmitt Smith II became emotional when talking about his father, Emmitt Smith III making a critical decision in his life during a news conference for getting selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The elder Smith was playing semipro football in their hometown of Pensacola, Fla. Before that he was a good enough high school player that he was offered a scholarship by Fisk University. But Emmitt Smith III couldn't take the scholarship because his mother was sick so he decided to play semipro.

“I had the dreams of doing what you doing, but my mother got sick and I never did go to college,” Smith recalled his father saying to him before breaking down in tears. “You’re living my dream, you’re living my dream. All I could think about at that time, living your dream? I’m fulfilling my dream and I’m fulfilling God’s purpose for me.”

While Smith was crying, Michael Irvin rubbed his shoulder and left arm. Irvin also put his hand on Smith’s left knee.

Smith’s mother, Mary and his wife Pat were also wiping away tears.

“So many things have to fall into place to be even in the position to do some of the things that we do,” Smith said.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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