Conway’s Recent Influential Black Athletes: Breylin Smith


Submitted by Breylin Smith

Dallas Desonie, Staff Writer

As Black History Month is in full swing, many Americans around the world are taking time to pay homage to our country’s most influential and impactful African-Americans. Some of the popular names that are celebrated during this time include Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks. In the sports world, Jackie Robinson, Muhamad Ali, and Bill Russell are recognized as trailblazers in their respective sports. 

While all of these individuals are more than worthy of recognition, we often times forget to recognize the heroes in our own backyard. As the nation continues with the celebration of Black History Month during February, what better time to look back and recognize one of the most influential Black athletes in recent Conway history. 

Maybe the best signal-caller in recent Wampus Cat history, Breylin Smith started at Quarterback for the Cats from 2013-2015 and took Conway to a new level of success during his time as a starter. As a Junior in 2014, Smith led Conway to an undefeated regular season and a conference championship before ultimately falling short to the Fayetteville Bulldogs. 

Although Black quarterbacks have become more and more common place over the years, there are still many stereotypes surrounding these athletes. Black quarterbacks are considered not to be as smart or mature as white quarterbacks and are supposed to just be runners. Smith says these stereotypes were something he experienced during his time as the Cats quarterback.  “I never really felt pressure being an African American quarterback. I definitely got stereotyped a lot. Often, people thought I should be something that I wasn’t.”

 While growing up, Smith said he had plenty of African American quarterbacks in the NFL to look up to. “I watched a lot of Michael Vick. I thought he was so exciting to watch. I had like two pairs of his sneakers. Donovan McNabb was also one I enjoyed watching.”

Looking back, Smith says his time at Conway is something he will never forget. “Playing at Conway was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had playing sports. I got to play with my childhood best friends. It taught me to appreciate those moments because they dont last forever!” 

After an outstanding career at UCA, Breylin Smith has recently chosen to take this next step in pursing his lifelong dream and enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

Wampus Cat Breylin Smith poses at Centennial Bank Field with his late Grandfather Danny Thomas.