Fish Smithson has found his NFL home. After not hearing his name called during the 2017 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins signed the 5-foot-11, 190 pound safety out of Baltimore.
The Kansas safety announced the signing himself on a new Twitter account, which was later confirmed by Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. The Kansas football account then sent out a Tweet about his signing.
Not sure if it's out there, but #Redskins have signed Kansas UDFA S Fish Smithson— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterTes) April 30, 2017
Smithson made a team-high 93 tackles during his senior campaign, with 70 of those coming as solo tackles. He also led Kansas with six pass breakups and four interceptions. Smithson forced two fumbles, made 2.5 tackles for loss and added a sack and fumble recovery too. Because of his efforts, he earned first-team All-Big 12 honors by the coaches and second-team All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press voters.
During his junior season, Smithson led the Big 12 with 87 solo tackles and led the nation with an average of 7.9 solo tackles per game. His 87 solo tackles was second in the country as well. He added two interceptions and five pass breakups that season, earning second-team All-Big 12 honors during Kansas' 0-12 season.
Smithson will join a veteran defensive back corps with DeAngelo Hall and Will Blackmon — both safeties — and Josh Norman at cornerback. The three of them combined have 31 years of NFL experience under their belts. Other big names in the Washington secondary that played last season are Duke Ihenacho and Donte Whitner Sr.
Of Washington's 10 draft picks, it drafted four other secondary players — Fabian Moreau, a cornerback out of UCLA, Montae Nicholson, a safety out of Michigan State, Josh Harvey-Clemons, a safety out of Louisville and Josh Holsey, a defensive back out of Auburn. There was some other Big 12 flavor as well, as the Redskins drafted Oklahoma's star running back in Samaje Perine in the fourth round.
Smithson wasn't the only Kansas player to ink with a team in free agency.
Brandon Stewart, a cornerback, signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. He played two seasons at Kansas after playing at Trinity Valley Community College for two seasons.
— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) April 30, 2017
Stewart started all 12 games for Kansas this past season and totaled 25 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass breakups and one touchdown.
During his junior season, Stewart had 35 tackles, one forced fumble and a blocked kick in his nine games started.
Stewart will be the second Jayhawk on the Chargers' roster, as he joins Darrell Stuckey, an eight-year veteran safety. Stewart is already listed on the Chargers' roster.
Other Jayhawks currently in the NFL include Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos; Ben Heeney and Dexter McDonald of the Oakland Raiders; Steven Johnson of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bradley McDougald of the Seattle Seahawks, JaCorey Shepherd of the San Francisco 49ers, and Stuckey.