Valdosta State University:
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University alumni D’Angelo Smith and Lance Jarriel were recently selected for the National Collegiate Flag Football Championships Hall of Fame. They are the first VSU students to receive the honor.
Smith and Jarriel will be inducted during the 2017 National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Collegiate Flag Football Championships in January 2018 in Pensacola, Florida.
Smith, a Lithonia, Georgia, native, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from VSU in Fall 2015. He currently works as an accountant in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
“An induction means a lot,” he said. “It shows that some hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Flag football was new to me coming to Valdosta State. I was a two-sport athlete in high school, and it just gave me another way to show people that I could still participate in sports even if it isn’t on a professional level or actual contact football. Flag football was that outlet for me.”
Smith played on the men’s flag football team as quarterback and defensive back. He was named Most Valuable Player for the men’s division at the 2013 and 2014 NIRSA National Collegiate Flag Football Championships. He earned All-American honors at the 2013 and 2014 NIRSA national championships and the 2013 and 2014 Georgia Peach State Classic Flag Football Tournament.
“I have to give some credit to my team as well,” he said. “Without them, I would not be getting acknowledged as a Hall of Fame inductee. The difference between my team is the chemistry. We actually understood each other on and off the field. A lot of teams don’t have any type of relationship off the field, and that’s what set us apart.”
VSU won the 2014, 2015, and 2016 NIRSA Men’s National Collegiate Flag Football Championships. During the 2014 championship, Smith led his team to a new NIRSA record for the most points scored in a national tournament game — 103 points.
Jarriel, a Valdosta, Georgia, native, earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from VSU in Spring 2017. He currently coaches football at Valwood School in Valdosta.
“Being chosen for the Hall of Fame is a pretty cool honor — definitely not something I would have imagined when I came to college and started playing intramurals,” he said. “The team became a family to us. We never really had any issues. We’re really close still to this day.”
Jarriel played on the men’s and co-recreational flag football teams as quarterback. He was named Most Valuable Player for the co-recreational division at the 2014 and 2016 NIRSA National Collegiate Flag Football Championships and for the men’s division at the 2016 championships. He was also named MVP at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Georgia Peach State Classic Flag Football Tournament. He earned All-American honors at the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 state championships and the 2014, 2015, and 2016 national championships.
“There are a lot of guys and girls from the VSU team who are deserving of this honor,” Jarriel said. “They’re all great flag players. This is an accolade that D’Angelo and I are receiving, but it’s for everyone.”
VSU won the NIRSA Co-Recreational National Collegiate Flag Football Championship in 2014 and 2016 and was runner-up in 2015.
“D’Angelo and Lance are both remarkable athletes,” said Shawn Phippen, director of VSU’s Department of Campus Recreation. “I was very impressed with their leadership skills and their ability to make plays on the field.”
Intramural sports at VSU are designed to provide an opportunity for all students, faculty and staff to participate in organized recreational activities. Structured leagues and tournaments are offered in an array of sporting activities, including volleyball, softball, basketball, tennis, table tennis, mini golf, bowling, kickball, and canoe battleship.