TAMPA, Fla. (WTVD) -- A former North Carolina Central football player made history for the university on Sunday night by being the first Eagle to be a Super Bowl champion.
Ryan Smith, a cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, assisted in defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9 during Super Bowl LV inside the Raymond James Stadium in Florida.
The Maryland-native is the third NCCU Eagle in the school's history to play in the Super Bowl only preceded by Richard Sligh of the Raiders, and Louis Breeden of the Bengals.
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Smith has fashioned himself into a special-teams ace in his fourth season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and also serves as a reserve defensive back when they need him in that capacity. He has spent all five of his seasons with the Bucs'.
"It's a big deal in that aspect as far as like, a lot of people don't make it out of Central, or small schools period, so for me to be in this situation, it's a big thing. Me coming from Central, putting them on notice like you know we got dudes who can ball too. It's a big deal," Smith told ABC11 Wednesday.
The university says Smith graduated from NCCU in late 2015 with a degree in criminal justice
Ryan Smith becomes first NCCU Eagle to win Super Bowl