Fleming Island, FL

Former Fleming Island High football player declares for NFL draft

Tony Salazar

Former Fleming Island Golden Eagles’ linebacker Ryan Smenda Jr announced on his Twitter Tuesday evening that he is declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker capped off his five-year career at Wake Forest with 117 total tackles, 41 solo tackles, one fumble recovery and three passes defended in the 2022 season. Smenda played his final game for Wake Forest back in his home state. Wake Forest defeated the Missouri Tigers, 27-17, in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.

In 56 total games played, Smenda has a career total of 355 total tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception for the Demon Deacons. Smenda was on the 2021 Preseason Second Team All-ACC by Pro Football Focus and the 2020 Preseason Phil Steele Preseason All-ACC Second Team.

Smenda graduated from Fleming Island in 2018 and was a three-star recruit on multiple recruiting websites coming out of high school. Smenda was a three-year varsity starter and a two-year team captain for the Golden Eagles. Smenda finished his career with Fleming Island with 175 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, three blocked punts, four blocked field goals and one interception as a senior, according to the Wake Forest website.

Smenda was also a three-time state district champion and two-time region champion in high school wrestling. Out of high school, Smenda ran a 4.74 40-yard dash, 4.2 shuttle, 30-inch vertical, 335 lbs max bench press, 475 lbs deadlift and 22 reps on the 185 lb bench press, according to his Hudl profile.

Smenda signed with Wake Forest out of high school over offers from Akron, Alcorn State, Appalachian State and Charleston Southern.

Photo byWake Forest website.

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I am a graduate of the University of North Florida with a major in communication with a focus in journalism and a minor in sports management.

Green Cove Springs, FL

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