NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans VooDoo have been assigned wide receiver Antoine (Shaky) Smithson and linebacker J.R. Collins, the VooDoo front office announced Thursday morning.
Smithson (6-1, 210, Utah) enters his rookie season in the AFL after spending time with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League and the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
During his collegiate career, Smithson became Utah’s 15th first-team All-American after leading the nation in punt return average and punt return yards as a senior. He was honored as a Walter Camp first-team All-American punt returner and Scout/FoxSports.com first-team All-American all-purpose back. During his time at Utah, he established a school and Mountain West Conference record for punt return yards in a season (572). He finished his college career at Utah with 38 receptions for 483 yards and three touchdowns in 23 career games after transferring from East Los Angeles Community College.
“Shaky is a dynamic receiver. He has good size and runs good routes,” said Head Coach Dean Cokinos. “He is an explosive player with the ball in his hands. I am excited about Shaky joining our team; it is a good opportunity for him.”
Collins (6-3, 250, Virginia Tech) comes to the VooDoo for his first season in the AFL after spending time with the Washington Redskins of the National Football League.
Collins was a four-year letterman that included three years as a starter for the Hokies. He recorded 164 tackles throughout the course of his career that included 17.5 sacks from the linebacker position. Over the course of his career with the Hokies, Collins had two seasons of 50-plus tackles, including 57 as a sophomore. Collins is a native of Stafford, Virginia.
“J.R. has been a very productive player throughout his college career,” said Cokinos. “He has a good work ethic and plays with a high motor. He has a good body type to be a successful pass rusher in the Arena Football League. J.R. is an exciting young player.”