Ex-Ooltewah All-American Jacques Smith Released By Falcons

Former Vol Standout Could Wind Up On Atlanta Practice Squad

Saturday, August 30, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Former Ooltewah Owls All-American and Tennessee Vols defensive standout Jacques Smith has been released by the Atlanta Falcons, who are 10 cuts from reaching their 53-man roster for the 2014 season.

Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert and tight end Mickey Shuler were also released.

Smith, an undrafted free agent, is said to be a "viable candidate" for the Falcons' practice squad if he clears waivers. 

The Falcons had until 4 p.m. this afternoon to cut another 10 players, but those players have a chance to go on the practice squad starting Sunday. The final cuts were made public at 4:02 p.m.

Here is the complete list of 10 players cut on Saturday:

WR Bernard Reedy, CB Ricardo Allen, OLB Jacques Smith, TE Mickey Shuler, WR Jeremy Ebert, DT Travian Robertson, WR Geraldo Boldewijn, WR Bernard Reedy, S Sean Baker, G Harland Gunn and T Terren Jones.

Atlanta also has the option to grab players from other teams that have signed waivers. So even making the final roster is no guarantee for players low on the depth chart to start the season with the Falcons.

Smith had been projected by some observers to be the last of five outside linebackers with a chance to be on the final 53-man roster. Jonathan Massaquoi, Kroy Biermann, Stansly Maponga, and Osi Umenyiora are ahead of Smith at that position.

Smtth was cut despite the Falcons' lack of depth at the OLB position. He has been tabbed as "one of the best bets" for the team's practice squad.

When contacted via a text message requesting an interview on Saturday, Smith replied: "Unfortunately, I would not like to do a story at this time. Thank you for the opportunity. God bless."

The Falcons seemingly liked Smith's don't-back-down-attitude throughout preseason camp. He drew plenty of attention early on by getting into a couple of fights and "ticked off" veteran center Joe Hawley.

However, Smith, according to published reports, didn't do himself any favors with the coaching staff following his ejection from the third exhibition game against the Tennessee Titans after getting into a fight long after the whistle stopped play.

As a senior at Tennessee, Smith played in 10 games and started nine after a hand injury slowed him in preseason camp and early season. He scored 28 tackles, two for loss, with two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery.

Last November, Smith attended the Owls' game against Walker Valley -- they won, 42-14 -- during which his jersey was retired during a halftime ceremony.

Smith, a prep All-American during his time at Ooltewah, was a state Mr. Football finalist in 2008 and 2009. He was named to All-America player by Parade magazine and USA Today. Smith was the state's No. 1 college prospect by the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)


PHOTOS: CFC Edged In Overtime By Atlanta, 2-1

Six Flames Earn Eight NCAA DII All-South Region Outdoor Track Awards

Six Lee athletes recently picked up eight NCAA Division II All-South Region Outdoor Track awards. To obtain all-region honors athletes must be ranked in the top 5 in their event.   The Lady Flames were paced by Jessica Childers. She earned top honors in the 1500m ( 4:40 ) and 5000m ( 17:38 ), ranked No. 1 in both events. Childers also earned No. 3 honors in ... (click for more)

Man Killed By Train At Sale Creek

A man was struck and killed by a train in North Hamilton County on Wednesday evening. The sheriff's office said the incident occurred in Sale Creek.   (click for more)

Tram Up 1st Street That Proved A Dud Also Falters At Auction

Most of the 21st Century Waterfront development was a major success. Except for that non-working tram going up the steep hill at First Street. The city has finally given up on the unusual mode of transit and has placed it up for auction. But there were only four bids submitted and the high was only $92.50. The owners of the firm that built the tram, Outdoor Engineers ... (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Know About Dowries

There is a lawyer in Kenya who wants to meet President Barack Obama very badly. He knows the President will visit Kenya in July and the noble, young lawyer, Felix Kiprono, is very sincere when he says he wants to marry the oldest of the Obama daughters, 16-year-old Malia. He became interested in Malia in 2008 and can proudly say he has dated no other women since then, it has just ... (click for more)