Rayquan Smith, the self-proclaimed King of NIL, has found a new home — and it’s in the CIAA.
The former Norfolk State running back will be taking his talents to Elizabeth City State this fall. He made his announcement via social media on Sunday.
Smith was recruited by former NSU head coach Latrell Scott out of Highland Springs High School — the same school that produced record-breaking quarterback Juwan “Pootie” Carter. His career got off to a promising start in 2019 as he played in seven games and started once as a freshman. He finished the year ranked second on the team with 430 rushing yards on 84 carries and one touchdown.
Smith was industrious between his freshman season and his sophomore season on the field, taking advantage of the new NIL capabilities for student-athletes and becoming a brand ambassador for dozens of companies.
New head coach Dawson Odums brought in a run-heavy philosophy to NSU, which figured to bode well for Rayquan Smith. But injuries and a crowded backfield limited him to 26 carries for 119 yards in four appearances, as well as a touchdown catch against Wake Forest.
Following the 2021 season, Smith put his name in the transfer portal. However, he stayed at Norfolk State and turned his attention to track and field.
Participated in two meets, where he placed in the top 10 in all four throws at the MEAC Outdoor Championships in 2021. He was eighth in the shot put (40-11.5) and discus (124-4) and ninth in the hammer (118-1) and javelin (112-10).
After earning his bachelor’s degree at Norfolk State, Smith will head about an hour south to Elizabeth City State. ECSU went 2-8 last season under first-year head coach Marcus Hilliard.