That's why he donated $250,000 to a scholarship fund and is helping out with a coaching clinic Friday at his alma mater.
"Someone took a chance on me and donated money so I could get a scholarship," Smith said. "So, why can't I do the same? I have the means and so why not do that?"
Smith has loved seeing the growth the Utah program has taken since he left in 2000, and has been especially overwhelmed by all the new football complex.
"It's amazing," he said. "Me and my wife took a tour, and it was fantastic. I was just blown away. You look at what's going on and see the great facilities that are being built, and you want to be a part of something special."
Smith had spent his entire 13-year NFL career with one team -- the Carolina Panthers. But after 836 catches for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns, the Panthers decided to release the 35-year-old receiver this past off-season. It was an extremely emotional time.
"Honestly, getting released has just given me the understanding that your career is coming to an end," Smith said. "There's a mourning period that I went through, but when you have a strong family background, they pick up the slack."
Smith signed a 2-year free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens, where he will try to end a possible Hall of Fame career with a Super Bowl title.
Even though he still has plenty of football left, Smith is looking forward to life after football with his wife and three kids.
"Generally, the last 12 years have consisted of going to see dad play," Smith said. "Now, once I'm done, my life will be involved around my kids and my family. I want to coach my kids. My oldest son plays soccer and I want to wear his jersey. So there's a whole new chapter and a whole new list of things that I get to be and do. I am a football player, but once I'm done, I'm chill. I'm just hanging out trying not to get fat."
When it was suggested that Smith could easily play another five years, Smith said, "Absolutely not. I'm not playing five more years if they pay me a trillion dollars."