Trio of former NFL players to participate in CMU football’s golf fundraiser

Former Denver Broncos tight end Clarence Kay first met Timmy Smith after the former Washington Redskins running back set a Super Bowl rushing record in January 1988.

Since then, both players retired and are friends living in Denver.

“Timmy wasn’t even in the program,” Kay told The Daily Sentinel. “I’m on the sideline, and I had to go the stands to see if he’s in the program. Who is this cat?”

Kay, Smith and former Redskins running back George Rogers are coming to Grand Junction to participate in the Colorado Mesa University football team’s golf scramble fundraiser at 1 p.m. Friday at the Golf Club at Redlands Mesa. Cost is $150 per player or $600 per team and includes 18 holes of golf, range balls, lunch and two beverage tickets. To register, go online to http://www.cmumavericks.com and click on football under the sports tab, or call coach Phil Vigil at 248-2021.

The three former NFL players will sign autographs at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Blue Moon Bar & Grille and 7 p.m. Friday at Buffalo Wild Wings. Proceeds go to the CMU football program.

Kay and Smith are friends with former Mesa State College football player Lenton Thomas. All three live in the Denver metro area.

“I want to get the university back on the map and win again,” said Thomas, who is on Colorado Mesa’s alumni board. “I’m honored they asked me. I talked to Timmy, Clarence, and they got George Rogers involved.”

Thomas played defensive end and linebacker for Mesa State in 1981-82 for Bob Cortese and signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins, but a knee injury ended his playing career.

“We’re looking forward to coming down there and have a good time,” Smith said. “We’re going to try make it big down there. Next year hope to start a football camp there.

Smith was a backup running back for the Redskins his rookie year in 1987, but an injury to Rogers gave Smith an opportunity to play against the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. Smith rushed for a Super Bowl record 204 yards in the Redskins’ 42-10 victory.

“I didn’t know until the day of the game they were going to start me,” Smith said. “That was the biggest game of my life. It was a dream come true.”

That was the highlight of Smith’s career, which was plagued by injuries and drug use. He retired in 1990 and has resided in Denver for 22 years. He works for Bos Solutions, which has an office in Grand Junction and specializes in drilling-fluid conservation, solids control and waste mitigation.

“Everyone goes through trials and tribulations,” Smith said. “Now, I’m on the right track, doing good things for the community.”

Smith, 49, plays in other former NFL players’ charity golf events. He recently played in one assisting former teammate Darrel Green’s learning centers, he said.

Smith helps George Rogers’ foundation in South Carolina as well.

Rogers, who won a Heisman Trophy for South Carolina, began his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints before finishing with the Redskins and is bringing his Heisman Trophy to Grand Junction, Smith said.

Kay played nine seasons with the Denver Broncos (1984-92).

“I did what I had to do as a tight end,” Kay said. “Whatever they asked me to do I did, that’s why I played for nine years. I just wanted to have a job.”

Kay set several Broncos records for a tight end — until Shannon Sharpe came along.

“Shannon was my roommate when he was a rookie,” Kay said. “At first, I couldn’t pay him to talk. Now you can’t pay him to shut up.”

Kay, who celebrated his 52nd birthday Tuesday, has participated in several charity events, including basketball games against the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. He recently sold his mobile oil-change business and is considering starting a moving company.

“I’ve had some neck problems and shoulder problems,” Kay said. “The thing I realize is you have to stay active. I understand that more clearly.”


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