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Za’Darius Smith drove 14 hours to tell his mother she doesn’t have to work anymore

On Tuesday morning, former Kentucky pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith broke the bank with a lucrative four-year, $66 million deal with the Green Bay Packers.

But before news broke that the deal was done, he wanted to make sure his mother was the first person to know that their family’s life would be changed forever.

According to Wes Hodkiewicz of, the former Wildcat drove 14 hours in his car to tell his mother face-to-face that she’d never have to work another day in her life.

“I said, Ma, you ready to quit working? She said, ‘My bag is already packed,’” Smith said.

When asked about his mother’s financial/life situation, the former Wildcat said that she has been working at a jail in Alabama for over two decades.

Now, her days in a tough working environment are over. She’s set for life.

“She works at the Butler County (Alabama) correctional facility,” he said, via Hodkiewicz. “She’s been there for like 22 years, and she worked with a lot of inmates, so sometimes that can be a headache. To go there and see her, bags packed, it was a wonderful feeling to tell mom she can quit working.”

Sheesh… Did someone start cutting onions in here?

Well done, Big Z. Well done.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

15 responses to “Za’Darius Smith drove 14 hours to tell his mother she doesn’t have to work anymore”

  1. Realme

    This is beautiful. Someone let him know he can afford to fly though.

    1. 4everUKblue

      True but with the recent crashes might be safer to drive. What a great story.

  2. JWB

    This is awesome….Josh Allen gonna be telling his family the same thing real soon!

  3. Wade

    How much was z making the last few years? I’d assume it was enough to provide for his family very well. He was a starter! I’m sure now it’s like I don’t have to check the account just do whatever you want money now! Great for him, every mans real dream

    1. BBNDan7

      He made $4 million his first 4 seasons. So yes, plenty to provide but not necessarily never work again if he got hurt or something. 66 million is never work again money. Congrats to Big Z

    2. IheartRex

      20 million guaranteed.

    3. Miller45

      Having T Suggs as a teammate has helped z out so much

  4. UKfanman01

    So so so happy to hear! Congrats to Za’Darius and his family!

  5. Irish son

    My favorite Wildcat of recent years. I’m happy for him

  6. Ridge Runner

    Great story. Yes… onions are around.

  7. 4everUKblue

    You never see BigolSlaterMedic comment on a positive story like this and if he did, he’d turn it negative.

  8. weneedpitino

    This is a great story I love it when a man never forgets and takes care of the first woman in his life. The mother is always there for her child til the end in most circumstances. I would do something like this for mama weneedpitino if I could but unfortunately i’m not as well off as big Z. Go Cats!!

  9. Larkin123

    Great news…

  10. cats646

    Awesome. Just awesome

  11. jamburgey22

    Best article of 2019!! So happy for him and his family! Thankful we had him when we did!