Former walk-on player at Fayetteville State gets call to sign with Atlanta Falcons

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May 09 2021 03:00 pm

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — He may not have heard his name called on draft day but Fayetteville State University offensive lineman Kion Smith did get a call from the Atlanta Falcons Saturday to sign with the team as an undrafted free agent.

Through a statement from the school Smith said, “I can’t wait to get to work,”

Kion started his collegiate career in Fayetteville as a walk-on but transformed himself into an All-CIAA offensive lineman and a cornerstone of the unit that helped lead the Broncos to three straight CIAA championship games.

Kion Smith, Courtesy Fayetteville State Athletics

“I am proud of Kion and all of his accomplishments,” said Richard Hayes, FSU head football coach. “He was one of the first athletes we signed when I started the program. He came to a walk-on tryout in 2016 after signing day and has been continuously impressive since then. He earned an immediate scholarship and has been effective as a three-year starter. We kind of knew he was going to be in the situation that he is in now. He has all the tools.”

Before Fayetteville State and the CIAA opted out of the 2020 college football season, Smith declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. His skills were on full display at the Hula Bowl and Tropical Bowl.

During his March 30 Pro Day at North Carolina State, Smith turned out a 5.33-second 40-yard dash and put up 15 reps on the 225-pound bench.

“I just want to wish him the best,” said position coach Christopher Holmes. “He has worked hard to get to this point, but the work is not done. I know he will excel and his best play is still in front of him. His ceiling is so high.”

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