Jon Morgan, Drew Smith Sign NFL Free Agent Contracts

ALBANY, N.Y. – Shortly after the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft Saturday night, University at Albany football players Jon Morgan and Drew Smith signed free agent contracts with the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills, respectively.

Linebacker Jon Morgan, a two-time first-team All-NEC honoree, led UAlbany with 72 tackles, three interceptions, and two blocked kicks in UAlbany’s 2012 NEC championship season. The Copiague, N.Y. native finished his career ranked eighth all-time at UAlbany with 265 career tackles.

Tailback Drew Smith also boasted a historic collegiate career, finishing as UAlbany’s all-time leader for touchdowns scored (45) and the co-leader for all-time rushing touchdowns (40). In four active seasons, Smith accrued 3,196 career rushing yards and 4,721 all-purpose yards, both good for second all-time. In 2012, the Schenectady, N.Y. native eclipsed the 1,000 rushing yards mark for the second time in his career and the 10th time in program history, rushing for 1,001 yards and 18 touchdowns, while totaling 1,280 all-purpose yards.  Smith also led the NEC and ranked fourth at the FCS level for scoring (11.40).

In four years, the pair led UAlbany to a 30-15 overall record, two NEC titles and an appearance in the 2011 FCS Playoffs.

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THE HISTORY OF UALBANY IN THE NFL
Rashad Barksdale was taken in the sixth round of the National Football League Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007. Barksdale, who was the 201st player selected, is the second UAlbany football player to be chosen in the NFL Draft. He was released by the Eagles and immediately signed by the Kansas City Chiefs off waivers. Barksdale became the first Great Dane to play in an NFL regular-season game on Oct. 7, 2007 against Jacksonville.

In 2007, Andre Coleman and Jacob Hobbs signed as free agents with the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. Coleman, who spent three seasons on the Chargers’ practice squad and played during the 2009 regular season, was a consensus first-team mid-major All-America defensive end.

Previously, offensive tackle Geir Gudmundsen joined the Buffalo Bills as a free agent in 2005. Split end Dan Gmelin (San Diego Chargers) and tight end Seth Thomas (Carolina Panthers) signed as free agents in 1997. Defensive end Matt Caliandro inked a free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans the following year.

Kurt Campbell was the first UAlbany player taken in the NFL Draft. He went in the seventh round to the Green Bay Packers in 2005. Campbell, a former UAlbany captain, also spent time with Oakland and Tennessee and was signed by the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders in May 2009.