FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed rookie defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith today (pronounced "Lee-Keevin"). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. New England selected Smith in the sixth round (206th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Smith, who turned 24 today, started 35 games over the past three seasons at Nebraska and appeared in 49 of 50 possible games during his collegiate career. The 6-foot-1-inch, 308-pound defensive lineman was credited with 172 tackles, including 9.5 sacks and 36 tackles for losses during his collegiate career. His 36 tackles for losses ranks seventh in school history and is second only to Jim Skow (1982-85) among defensive lineman. Last season, he started all 12 games for the Cornhuskers and recorded 43 tackles, including a career-high six sacks.
The Macon, Georgia native attended Stratford Academy, where he helped win two Class 3A state titles and was named the Georgia Player of the Year by USA Today. He also helped Stratford Academy to three straight state titles in track, earning first place in the state in discuss (185'5") and placing second in the shot (59'9-1/2).