Falcons draft USM's Ito Smith in 4th round

Falcons draft USM's Ito Smith in 4th round

The Atlanta Falcons drafted former University of Southern Mississippi running back Ito Smith in the fourth round of the NFL draft Saturday with the 126th pick overall.

Last season, Smith became the tenth player in NCAA history to eclipse 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving in a career. He finished his four years at Southern Miss with the most career all-purpose yards (6,512) and second most touchdowns (44).

Smith was named First Team All-Conference USA  in 2017 and later became the first Golden Eagle to receive an invite to the Senior Bowl since Jamie Collins in 2012.

"A Southern Miss back, they have to be tough because the team's going to lean on the running backs that are going to run the ball at Southern Mis," Smith said ahead of the Senior Bowl. "We're a hard-nosed team, so just learning how to be tough... adversity, knowing no matter what comes your way, just knowing you always gotta fight."

Smith, who weighs just over 200 pounds, lifted the bench press 22 times and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds during the Southern Miss Pro Day.

Smith has always had to fight for respect. A three-star recruit coming out of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, the 5-foot-9 running back proved his worth at Southern Miss.