Feb 6 / Rob

This Former JMU Football Player is a Rising Star. In Cornhole

We’re right in the heart of college basketball season, which means it’s time for us to break out of our post FCS Championship funk and get back on the blogging horse. JMU hoops is 2-9 in CAA play with its only victories coming against last place UNCW. And that’s all we have to say about that. So let’s talk cornhole. Yes, cornhole.

While reading the Wall Street Journal this week (I’m a very important business man), I came across an article about former JMU defensive back Ryan Smith. He played for the Dukes from 2010 to 2013 mostly as a free safety. Since graduating, he’s continued to pursue a career in pro sports. And he’s done a heck of job, as he’s now risen to become one of the top 20 ranked cornhole players in the country.

The article is actually pretty fascinating. Smith didn’t even start playing cornhole until after college. That makes sense, considering he probably wasn’t tailgating much. He started playing the game for fun and realized he was a bit of a natural. After playing around his house, he decided to start training seriously. He went so far as to get his manager at his regular job to approve him practicing after hours in a company warehouse. The hard work paid off and earned him a chance to compete in The American Cornhole League, which has over 45,000 members and a broadcast deal with ESPN (not FloSports). Smith is competing this season to win a share of over $250,000 in prize money.

Cornhole might just be a fun game for some folks, but Smith takes it seriously. According to the article, he practices 30 to 60 minutes a day and says “During a tournament I’m flicking my wrist nonstop, throwing anywhere from 500 to 1,000 bags.” That’s a lot. He does serious cardio to condition himself for playing up to 12 hours of cornhole over a typical 3 day event. And he’s not just running out there with any old bags. He owns 20 sets of All-Slides cornhole bags that run $70 a set. The bags come courtesy of his sponsor Allcornhole.com, but still, that’s $1400 of bean bags.

One Comment

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  1. Zac / Feb 6 2020

    Sounds like he needs a cornhole bag sponsor!

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