Former Arkansas defensive end Chris Smith passed away earlier this week at the age of 31. After the tragic news was confirmed by his agent on Tuesday morning, many took to social media to share their shock and sadness.
Smith spent four seasons at Arkansas, from 2010-2013, where he racked up 122 tackles and 21.5 sacks as a Razorback. His career sack total ranks fourth in program history. He earned second team All-SEC honors following his senior season with the Razorbacks.
Smith’s Arkansas career is largely overlooked because of the turmoil that the program endured in his last two seasons, but he was one of the most talented defensive linemen in school history.
His talent enabled him to be selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Over the course of eight seasons, Smith would spend time with the Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders and Houston Texans. Most recently he was playing in the XFL for the Seattle Sea Dragons.
Here’s a look at some of the tributes shared on social media following the news.
NFL Films shares footage from Smith's career
A leader on the field, and a friend to all he played with.
Rest in peace Chris Smith. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Az6Bx3tyhf
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) April 18, 2023
We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Browns DE Chris Smith.
Chris was one of the kindest people, teammates and friends we've had in our organization. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/K8HySW4erM
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 18, 2023
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Chris Smith. pic.twitter.com/VKTiHSTwE7
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) April 18, 2023
Tony Kahn, son of Jaguars owner, remembers Smith
Rest In Peace, Chris Smith.
Chris came to the Jaguars in 2014 and spent 3 years here. He was a great teammate and friend.
He suffered a tragic loss in 2019 when Petara, his girlfriend + mother of his child passed away in a vehicular accident.
I hope they're reunited in Heaven
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) April 18, 2023
John Nabors of 103.7 the Buzz
Just saw the news that former Razorback DE Chris Smith passed away at the age of 31. That's just devastating. That guy was an amazing player on the field & an even more amazing guy off of it.
RIP Chris Smith, an all time great Razorback.
— John Nabors (@BuzzJohnNabors) April 18, 2023
Statement from the Baltimore Ravens on Chris Smith: pic.twitter.com/9n52LSd4Gh
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 18, 2023
XFL Seattle Sea Dragons' head coach Jim Haslett
I am saddened to share that Chris Smith passed away earlier this week. Chris was a hard worker and an all around great person. He was an important part of our Sea Dragon family and will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this time. pic.twitter.com/PKTvalisiZ
— Jim Haslett (@JimHaslett55) April 18, 2023
Browns TE David Njoku
Rest in paradise Chris Smith. Hometown hero and a brother to everyone. Such a kind soul. This is Heartbreaking
— Chief David Njoku (@David_Njoku80) April 18, 2023
To know him was to love him. Heaven got a good one. We’ll never forget you and we’ll always miss you. RIP Chris 💔 pic.twitter.com/KCrceHjAKf
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) April 18, 2023
Smith's agent Drew Rosenhaus
Rest in Peace Chris. Condolences to all his family, friends and loved ones. We will miss you pic.twitter.com/alpUAeqIhY
— Drew Rosenhaus (@DrewJRosenhaus) April 18, 2023