by Leathers - One day after Chicago took cornerback D.J. Moore in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Bears have invited Commodore receiver George Smith to a mini-camp tryout later this week.
Smith could join former teammate Earl Bennett with the Bears as a potential receiving threat from another former Vanderbilt star, Jay Cutler. Two more ‘Dores also appear on Chicago's roster: veteran linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and second-year offensive tackle Chris Williams.
Smith, a product of Hollywood Hills High School near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., struggled with leg injuries last year, concluding the season with just 13 receptions for 140 yards. Smith had 89 receptions during his career, good for 1,137 yards and eight touchdowns.
Smith, an offensive co-captain for the 2008 Music City Bowl champions, spent six years in the Vanderbilt program after developing a near-fatal medical condition known as transverse myletis as a freshman. He missed 18 months of action recovering from the ailment that left him temporarily paralyzed.
“George has meant so much to our team," Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson said. "He overcame a great deal during his time at Vanderbilt and worked incredibly hard to even have a chance of returning to the game. He’s an incredible young man, and a tremendous representative of our football team and university."