Ryan Smith is NCCU's first SB champion
TAMPA, Fla. - Ryan Smith became North Carolina Central University's first Super Bowl champion when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9.
A native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Smith made history on the opening kickoff of Super Bowl LV by becoming just the third Eagle to play in the Super Bowl, joining Richard Sligh of the Raiders in Super Bowl II and Louis Breeden of the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI.
A fourth-round pick in 2016 by the Bucs, Smith has spent all five of his seasons with Tampa Bay.
While at NCCU, Smith capped his standout college tenure from 2012-15 with a program career record 168 solo tackles, while finishing sixth in career tackles with 263 and 11th in passes defended with 31 (seven interceptions and 24 pass breakups).
As a senior, he ranked third in the MEAC with a team-best 11 passes defended (two interceptions and nine pass breakups), while adding 52 tackles (38 solo). Smith also led the conference and ranked 10th in the nation with an average of 28.1 yards per kickoff return.
After helping to lead the Eagles to their second straight MEAC championship, Smith graduated from NCCU on Dec. 12, 2015, with a degree in criminal justice.