Originally created 01/24/04

Former Georgia All-American guard dies



CLAXTON, Ga. -- Former Georgia All-American Royce Smith, a guard who played two seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons, is dead at 54.

He died Thursday, the university said.

Smith was chosen on The Associated Press All-America team in 1971, the year he won an award as the best blocker in the Southeastern Conference. He was all-SEC twice during his career.

Smith was selected in the first round of the 1972 draft by the New Orleans Saints.

He is survived by his son, Royce Jr., and a daughter, Kaysie. The funeral will be held Sunday at the Statesboro First Baptist Church.