Ryan Smith and Nick Leverett, former North Carolina Central football players, will be center stage at the Super Bowl as members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Smith, who is from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, played for NCCU from 2012-15. During his time at NC Central, he broke career records for solo tackles (168) and kickoff return yard average (28.1). He is also among NCCU’s career leaders in tackles, finishing sixth with 263, and is tied for 11th in passes defended with 31 (7 interceptions, 24 pass breakups). In 2014 and 2015, he celebrated a share of the MEAC championship and earned All-MEAC honors as both a defensive back and a return specialist as a senior.
In 2016, during the fourth round of the NFL Draft, Smith’s dream came true as notable NCAA basketball commentator Dick Vitale introduced him as the newest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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During his tenure with the Buccaneers Smith has played 73 games, 109 total tackles, 90 solo tackles, four forced fumbles, and two recovered fumbles.
Leverett played for NCCU from 2016-18. During his three seasons at NCCU, he started all 34 games on the offensive line.
Leverett was a part of the 2016 Eagles squad that beat NC A&T to win the MEAC championship, which he said was his most memorable moment while at NCCU and would be a day that he would never forget. He was voted All-MEAC third team in 2016 and All-MEAC second team in 2017 and 2018.
Courtesy: North Carolina Central Athletics