Former University of Central Arkansas cornerback Tremon Smith was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Saturday.
Smith, an All-American corner from Anniston, Alabama, is UCA's third NFL draftee in the past four seasons.
Smith was a first-team STATS Football Championship Subdivision All-American as a senior and a three-time All-Southland Conference selection.
He finished his senior season at UCA with 41 tackles (27 solo), 16 passes defended, five interceptions and 2.5 tackles for loss for a Bears' team that made its second consecutive FCS Playoff appearance and won 10 games for the second straight season.
For his career, Smith had 146 tackles (113 solos), 53 passes defended, 15 interceptions (177 return yards, 11.8 avg.), nine tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in 48 career games for the Bears.
The 15 career interceptions is fifth on the UCA career list.
As a punt returner, Smith returned 39 career punts for 295 yards, an average of 7.6 yards per return with one touchdown and a long of 65.
His punt return for a touchdown, a 47-yarder, came against Arkansas State in UCA's 28-23 win in 2016.
“I know special teams is going to be very important to me early on because like I said I’m trying to earn that 53-man roster,” Smith said on chiefs.com. “I’m going out there and doing whatever it takes to help out the team and there’s not going to be any ifs, ands or buts about it. I’m going to go out there and compete.
“I love punt returns, I’m good. I put a couple on film. I always loved it, it’s fun to get punt returns/kick returns. I’m ready to excel in the special teams point of view until I can work my way into the defensive side.”
Smith raised his draft stock recently when he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at UCA's Pro Day, which would have tied the best time among cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“You saw the speed,” Chiefs’ area scout Willie Davis said of Smith on chiefs.com. “You couldn’t help but notice how often he was around the ball. Whether he was playing his man or coming off his man and seeing the ball come out the quarterback’s hands—he’s always around the ball.”
Smith played quarterback and defensive back at Saks High School in Anniston and was the Alabama 3A Player of the Year as a senior as a quarterback, setting the career touchdown record at his school.
He was also a first-team All-Region selection on defense in 2013 and 2014.
“He’s very competitive,” Davis added. “You watch him on film and everything he does is full speed. He wants to compete. He wants to be good. I think he’s going to come in here and work hard. The kid knows he can play. He knows he can come in and play against the best players in the world. He’s a very confident kid.
“He’s going to learn from all the veteran guys and he wants to compete.”
Former UCA linebacker George Odum signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent.