James Smith-Williams isn't one of those players easily identified by a number. And that's good, since he'll be wearing a new one as a member of the Washington Redskins.
The former NC State defensive end, who wore both No. 39 and No. 1 during his career with the Wolfpack, will sport the No. 72 when he takes the field for the Washington Redskins this fall (assuming that there's a season, of course), according to the team's official website.
A recent seventh-round draft pick of the Redskins, Smith-Williams recorded six sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss as a junior in 2018 before suffering through an injury-plagued senior season last year.
Smith-Williams also maintained a 3.0-plus grade point average while earning his degree in business supply chain management, earning Academic All-ACC honors. He was also vice-president of State's Student-Athlete Advisory Council and is an active advocate for the "Setting the Expectation" movement raising awareness against domestic violence.
He was awarded the No. 1 by State coach Dave Doeren in recognition of his work ethic, character and team leadership.
"Our goal as a program is to help our players chase two dreams: life with football and life without football; and to develop them academically, athletically and socially," Doeren said at the time.. "James has grown and excelled in those areas. He has been a tremendous leader for us, has always made great decisions and has done things the right way on and off the field. I'm very proud to see his hard work pay off and look forward to seeing him continue to improve this season."
The Wolfpack's other 2020 draft pick, fellow defensive lineman Larrell Murchison, has yet to be issued a number with his new team, the Tennessee Titans. He won't be able to wear his college number of 92, however, as it already belongs to veteran defensive end Matt Dickerson.
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