A former West Rowan High School defensive footballer and NFL player by the name of Chris Smith has died.
Chris Smith, who was aged 31 years old, was a Salisbury native who graduated from West Rowan High School in 2010 and was a star defensive end on the team.
He started games all four years with the Razorbacks at the University of Arkansas before he was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars where he remained for three seasons.
Smith also played with the Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, and Houston Texans from 2018 to 2021. He signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2020 but only appeared on the practice squad.
He signed with the XFL’s Seattle Sea Dragons in March where he played five games, making five tackles.
Reacting to his death, West Rowan wrote said; “Chris was a better person than he was player! The impact he had on those around him will be remembered forever.”
“Chris was a powerful presence in the locker room. Loved and admired by his teammates and the coaching staff. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family at this difficult time”, an XFL statement read.
Smith’s alma mater, West Rowan High School in North Carolina, shared a tribute announcing his death Monday on Twitter, writing: “Rest In Peace to a West Rowan Legend!”
No official cause of death has been announced.