Many NFL fans may know American football tight end Jonnu Smith, as one of the anticipated players. But stories of his unsafe childhood & family, including his brother Wayne Smith Jr.’s arrest, reached limited ears.
Today’s article is about Wayne Jr., the older brother of NFL star Jonnu.
When the future NFL player went to Florida to escape the criminal influences in Philadelphia & seek a career to uplift the family’s condition, his brother saw court days on alleged homicide.
Jonnu Smith is a jersey number #81 tight end for New England Patriots after joining in 2021. For the 2022-23 season, the Patriots converted his $7.96 million salary into a signing bonus to clear the cap.
The former Tennessee Titans player grew up with five elder siblings with a recessed economic condition.
On top of that, his hometown Philadelphia was considered one of the most dangerous places to live in America, with high crime rates.
Even though his brother Wayne had some Philly air, he later chose the right track.
Stay with us to know more about Jonnu Smith’s brother, family & more.
Smith’s family didn’t have a lot, but he believes that being raised in those circumstances made him the man he is today.
Jonnu Smith Brother | Quick Facts
|Birth Name||Wayne Smith Jr.|
|Date of Birth||1990|
|Birthplace||Uptown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Father Name||Wayne Smith Sr. (deceased)|
|Mother Name||Karen Smith|
|Age||In his 30s|
|Known For||Older brother of NFL Player Jonnu Smith|
|Siblings||Five (Latia, Tasha, Tamara, Taneka, and Jonnu)|
|Net Worth||Not Available|
|Social Media||Not Available|
|Last Update||February 2023|
Jonnu Smith Brother | Who Is Wayne Smith Jr.?
Wayne Smith Jr. was born in 1990 in Uptown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He got into the media limelight as the older brother of NFL player Jonnu Smith.
His name came from his late father, Wayne Smith Sr., who died in an accident. After that, Smith’s mother, Karen Smith, raised him & his other five siblings alone.
Along with his young footballer brother Jonnu, Wayne has four sisters: Latia, Tasha, Tamara, and Taneka.
Further detail on his educational background or career remains a mystery.
Wayne Smith Jr. (Jonnu Smith’s Brother) | Lost Father At A Young Age
Jonnu and Wayne’s father, Wayne Timothy Smith (aka Wayne Smith Sr.), was a tow truck driver who died at 40.
In Philadelphia Mayor John Street’s initiated campaign, Wayne would remove abandoned vehicles off the street. But when towing one of the cars, it accidentally slid and crushed him.
Wayne Jr. was nine years old then, while his little brother Jonnu Smith was only four.
This devastating turn of events would leave the young Smith’s mother, Karen, alone to carry the parenthood responsibilities.
While their family had no financial means to uproot, Wayne Jr.’s submergence in crime added another problem.
Jonnu Smith’s Brother | Exposure To Crime
A bad influence of peers and an unsafe environment pushed Jonnu’s brother Wayne Smith Jr. into criminal offenses.
By the late 2000s, cases of homicides were increasing in Philadelphia- it would later swallow Wayne Jr. At 20 years old, he was arrested in the summer of 2010 on the charge of homicide.
This led to Smith’s mother Karen’s limited savings to brush off to get him a lawyer while she was already struggling to meet the month’s end. It filled Wayne with regrets & later chose a different path.
The violence even reached close to their home in the later days- the boyfriend of one of Wayne’s sisters got killed around the same time in 2010.
In October 2016, his younger brother Jonnu Smith’s best friend, Willie “Quasim” Jefferson, died of a gunshot in the street.
Did You Know? To groom her youngest son Jonnu Smith away from the disturbing environment, Wayne’s mom sent him to her sister, Daria, and Daria’s husband, Mike, in Ocala, Florida.
Wayne Smith Jr. | Relationship With His Brother Jonnu Smith
While Wayne Jr. and his NFL star brother Jonnu Smith may not make several PDAs, they are on good terms. Regarding his personal life, Wayne remains pretty low-key- no reports are available if he married & had kids or whatever.
The two brothers grew up together until Jonnu went to Florida to live with his aunt and uncle.
In August 2015, the then-Florida alumnus shared a picture with his brother and captioned it, “They say brothers should die for one another, but why die when you can live for each other”.
They are not seen publicly together ever since.
Is Jonnu’s Brother Wayne Smith Active On Social Media?
No, Wayne Smith Jr. is not active on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok.
Unlike his NFL star younger brother, he prefers to stay outside the media radar.
As for Jonnu Smith, the former Titans tight end, he has more than 98.5K followers on his Instagram @easymoney81. His IG posts are about the NFL games, his sons, and his wife.
Brief On Jonnu Smith | Career & Earnings
Jonnu Andre Smith, 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m), was born in Philadelphia on August 22, 1995. He is a tight end for the NFL team New England Patriots (2021- Present).
After moving to Florida to stay with his uncle and aunt, he attended West Port Highschool. Despite not being a touted recruit, he saw scholarships at Florida International University for a collegiate football career.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans picked him in the third round (100th overall pick) alongside recruits: Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, and Adoree’ Jackson.
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In four seasons with Tennessee Titans (2017-2020) on a $3.1 million contract, Jonnu started in 53 games out of 60, recording 114 receptions for 1302 yards with 16 receiving touchdowns.
On March 15, 2021, Smith signed with 6-time Super Bowl winner New England Patriots on a 4-year $50 million contract.
Moreover, on September 2, 2022, the Patriots converted his $7.965 million base salary for the 2022-23 season to a signing bonus to clear the $4.5 million cap.
Smith Is Father Of Three | Wife & Relationship
While at FIU, Jonnu and his college girlfriend, Mary Gaspar, were expecting a child. On October 31, 2016, during an altercation in a college dorm, his 5-month pregnant girlfriend attacked him with boiling water.
She got arrested but entered a not-guilty plea; the charges against her were dropped later.
With his ex-lover Mary, the NFL player is the father of son Jaiyen Quasim Smith, born on August 26, 2017. His middle name, “Quasim,” is a tribute to Jonnu’s best friend, who died of a gunshot.
Jonnu Smith also has another son named Meph, born on March 7, 2017- though the baby mama’s identity is a mystery.
Now, the Eagles player is married to Ballad Smith (nee Burroughs), a real estate agent and a member of Atlantic Realty Group.
In an Instagram post on December 17, 2022, the athlete’s wife wished him their 3rd anniversary, meaning they are together since 2019. Though it is unclear if they married in 2019 or later.
Ballad and Jonnu Smith are parents of a baby girl- a daughter named Haven B., born in May 2021.
In November 2020, the two confirmed that they were expecting as they debuted Ballad’s baby bump in a Facebook post.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which team does Jonnu Smith play for?
The American football tight end Jonnu Smith plays for New England Patriots after joining in 2021. He played for Tennessee Titans earlier, from 2017 to 2020.
Does Jonnu Smith have a brother?
Yes, Jonnu Smith has an older brother, Wayne Smith Jr. Also, he has four older sisters.
What happened to Jonnu Smith’s father?
Smith’s Father, Wayne Smith Sr., was a tow truck driver attempting to tow one of the abandoned cars when it accidentally slid and crushed him.
In the incident, he suffered a tragic death, leaving six of his kids and wife with nobody to look up to.