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)

Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week 13

Where has this college football season gone? It was only yesterday that I was counting the days, hours and minutes down to the first kickoff. Now, after Saturday's games, the regular season ends and we look forward to the league championship games, bowl games and the college football playoff. The regular season will likely go out with a bang, so here goes... Alabama @ Auburn: ... (click for more)

UTC Hosts Fordham Saturday in FCS Football Playoffs

Armed with arguably the best running back in the FCS nation, a talented Fordham football team (9-2)  comes to Chattanooga Saturday to face the UTC Mocs (8-3) at Finley Stadium at 1 p.m. in a first round FCS playoff game.   Chattanooga won the Southern Conference’s automatic bid with a 6-1 league mark and an 8-3 overall record while  Fordham finished ... (click for more)

Darrel Jones, 43, Shot And Killed On Central Avenue; Benson Critical In Another Of New Wave of Chattanooga Shootings

Darrel Jones, 43, was shot and killed on Central Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Then, early Friday morning, 34-year-old Desmond Benson was shot, leaving him in critical condition. as a wave of new Chattanooga shootings continued over the Thanksgiving holidays.  Chattanooga Police responded to the 3600 block of Central Avenue around 3 p.m. on a report of a ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Early Morning House Fire

A home was damaged by fire early Thursday morning.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received a fire call at  3:48  a.m.  and responded to 1825 Dixon Street with four fire companies. The family inside the home was awakened by a passerby knocking at the door. All of them quickly made their way outside the home to safety.  Once firefighters ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Cometh ‘The Black Dog’

I am one of 350 million people in the world who suffers from clinical depression. The doctors trace it back to my first decade of the 21 st century when constant surgeries and infections knocked me loopy but the more I have found, I believe I am more like Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and pro football star Terry Bradshaw – I think I have had it all my life. Today it ... (click for more)