The Stanford Cardinal have been lucky in recent years in terms of welcoming sons of Hall-of-Fame running backs to their football program.

Barry Sanders’ son, Barry James Sanders, joined the Stanford program from 2012-2015, becoming a part of three Pac-12 championship teams in the process and rushing for a career-high 315 yards two separate seasons with the team before transferring to Oklahoma State for his final season.

Now, the Cardinal’s feature back is E.J. Smith, son of the NFL’s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith.

Smith played in three games for Stanford back in 2020 but did not record a rushing yard.

On Saturday against the Colgate Raiders, the young man turned in a performance to remember, including a long-distance house call that has college football fans talking.

E.J. Smith Reminds Fans of Emmitt on 87-Yard Touchdown Run


Emmitt Smith wasn’t necessarily known as a big-play running back, but he did reel off his fair share of long rushing plays during his time in the National Football League with the Dallas Cowboys.

On Saturday against Colgate, E.J. Smith reminded many of his famous father as he picked his way through a mass of humanity on his way to an 87-yard touchdown run.

The run was part of a banner day for E.J., as he tallied 118 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 attempts for the day, leading Stanford to a 41-10 victory over their Patriot League counterparts.

Smith shows off the balance, vision and patience that made his father one of the all-time NFL greats in the video highlight below.

Smith came to Stanford as a four-star prospect, and also played some receiver during his time in high school, as shown in his high school highlight reel below.

Scouts listed him as “not having breakaway speed” out of high school, but as the highlight clip above shows, they may have been a little off on their assessment.