Former Wildcat cornerback Prince Smith Jr. has officially landed his first job after a decorated college career. The UNH defensive player of the year slipped through all seven rounds of the NFL Draft before getting a look from his hometown team.
The Philadelphia Eagles – who were among teams set to be in attendance for UNH’s pro day in March – have signed Smith as an undrafted free agent.
Prince started all 11 games for the Wildcats in 2019, his senior season. He ranked third on the team with 64 total tackles on the year. He tallied the second most interceptions on the team with three – including two in a 16-10 loss at Delaware. The defensive back also capped off the season with a 30-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to secure a 28-10 win over Maine.
Prince had been drawing interest from a number of NFL clubs. The teams that were going to be present for the pro day included the Eagles, Browns, Patriots, Broncos, Jaguars, Jets, Dolphins, Raiders and Texans.
The senior admitted that he started to panic a little when he caught wind of his pro day being canceled; however he was still able to gauge the interest of teams without meeting in person.
“I was getting a lot of good feedback from multiple teams throughout this whole process,” Smith said. “I was on calls with a lot of the teams that [were coming to the pro day] and probably a few more like the Vikings. They were just telling me to be patient, and that I could go in one of the later rounds…and even if I didn’t get picked, I would be signed immediately after the draft was over.”
Smith didn’t have to wait until the end of the draft the hear the good news. He received a call from the Eagles towards the end of the seventh round where they informed him that they were planning on bringing in the former Wildcat.
As soon as the final pick was announced, Prince got the call from the Eagles’ assistant defensive coordinator Dino Vasso and defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel that he would become a Philadelphia Eagle as an undrafted free agent.
Even though Smith wasn’t able to hear his name called during the draft, he didn’t hang his head about it.
“I knew I could go in the sixth or seventh round but watching those rounds and not hearing my name called had built up a feeling in me. It wasn’t really a sad feeling, though; it was more of a fire,” Prince said. “As soon as I got that call from the Eagles it was a relief.”
As if this moment couldn’t get more exciting for Smith, the Philadelphia product will have the opportunity to play just a few minutes from home. The cornerback noted how happy he is to be able to have his big break right in his own backyard.
Despite not being able to meet with the team right away, the Eagles will be sending out equipment to their latest free agent and keeping him on schedule to make sure he’s ready to go when the team finally gets together.