Niners QB Smith giving back to Utah with donation

SALT LAKE CITY -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith
pledged $500,000 Monday to the University of Utah for a workout
facility that will bear his name.

Alex Smith Smith

Smith's donation is the lead gift for the $1.5 million expansion
of the Alex Smith Strength and Conditioning Facility.

"Utah is the only school that gave me a chance out of high
school, and this is where I developed into what I am today," the
La Mesa, Calif., native said. "Even though I was only here for
three years, I got my degree and I gained a lot of life experiences
as well.

"I wanted to give back to the school and people who changed my

Smith was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2004 while leading the
Utes to a 12-0 season. San Francisco made him the No. 1 pick in the
NFL draft.

The Smith building will expand to 11,000 square feet and have
new equipment for varsity athletes.

President Michael Young said the university is "deeply grateful
and very proud."

Smith is the third former Ute in recent years to share his
professional riches with the school. NBA players Andre Miller --
$500,000 -- and Andrew Bogut -- $125,000 -- have donated money to the
basketball program.