SALT LAKE CITY — In a two-month period in 2005, the University of Utah claimed the No. 1 overall pick in both the NFL draft and the NBA draft. It’s the only time in history one school has claimed the top pick in both professional leagues in the same year.
The celebration of having two No. 1 picks was the culmination of Alex Smith leading the football program to its first undefeated season and a Fiesta Bowl victory over Pittsburgh to become the original “BCS busters,” and Andrew Bogut leading the Runnin’ Utes to a Sweet 16 appearance and No. 18 final ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
On Wednesday, Utah announced the pair was named to Utah Athletic’s 2020 Hall of Fame, as well as seven other athletes from the school’s “largest class.” Other inductees include Lori Baird (volleyball), Anthony Brown (football), Casey Child (baseball), Amy Timmel Hogue (softball), Eddie Johnson (football), and Leilani Mitchell (women's basketball).
The university plans to honor the nine former Utah athletes on Friday, Sept. 11, at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“This is a great class, in quantity and absolutely in quality. Their accomplishments as University of Utah student-athletes are well-document and just phenomenal, but they are also such good people who went on to do great things after they left our campus and brought great distinction to Utah Athletics," Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan said. "I appreciate the great work of our selection committee to stay focused on this important priority to bring forward a terrific class so we can celebrate these outstanding individuals as we do annually.”
Smith, a former Heisman Trophy finalist, is preparing for his 16th season in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, though his future as a starting quarterback remains to be seen after he sustained a gruesome compound fracture to his right tibia and fibula. Smith suffered severe complications from the injury and narrowly escaped his leg being amputated.
His recovery and work to return to the field will be the subject of an ESPN documentary, E60’s “Project 11,” set to debut on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Smith was drafted to the San Francisco 49ers and had a moderately successful career despite having a different offensive coordinator each season with the franchise. After losing the starting job to Colin Kaepernick, Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, where his career took off as he led the organization to multiple playoff appearances. He was later traded to the Redskins in 2018.
Bogut, the Consensus National Player of the Year for the 2004-05 season, has played for five NBA teams after being originally drafted to the Milwaukee Bucks. Bogut played two stints with the Golden State Warriors, and was part of their championship run in 2015, where he averaged 6.3 points and 8.1 rebounds that season.
But after 15 years in the league, and a time with the Sydney Kings in his native country of Australia, Bogut is expected to retire from the game after the coronavirus pandemic interrupted his plans to play for Australia in the 2020 Olympics.
While at Utah, Bogut managed 26 double-doubles, the most in the nation, and averaged 20.4 points and 12.2 rebounds per game.
Utah will also honor the following:
- Lori Baird, a Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year in 2008 who finished her volleyball career with 1,236 kills and 561 total blocks — both in the top 10 in the school’s all-time records.
- Anthony Brown, a Third Team AP All-American offensive linemen who helped Utah to a 10-2 record in 1994. Brown spent five seasons in the NFL after signing as a free agent.
- Casey Child, an outfielder and designated hitter who was named an ABCA First Team All-American in 1997. Child was selected in the 16th round of the MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angeles after setting single-season records in hits (104), home runs (31), RBI (97), total bases (227) and slugging percentage (.890) that year.
- Amy Timmel Hogue, a Second Team All-American and a Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year honor in softball in 1994, and the 13-year head coach at Utah. She hit .455 and scored 55 runs in her playing days, amid a run of two College World Series appearances.
- Eddie Johnson, the former all-time rushing and touchdown leader and First Team All-WAC running back. Johnson finished his career at Utah with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons and held the all-time records until Zack Moss broke them during the 2019 season.
- Leilani Mitchell, a Third Team AP All-American and Mountain West Conference Player of the Year during her 2007-08 basketball season. Mitchell was considered one of the top point guards, where she ranked fourth nationally in assists (7.5) and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.22), during the 2007-08 season.