COLUMBUS, GA, January 4, 2017 -- Head Coach and Director of Football Operations Jason Gibson today announced that veteran defensive back Chris Smith has signed a 2017 contract to return to the Columbus Lions, now members of the National Arena League (NAL).
Smith, 29, is a four-year professional veteran with 29 games played with Jacksonville and Tampa Bay of the Arena Football League in addition to his being part of the Lions’ strong defensive backfield for the undefeated (11-0) champions of American Indoor Football in 2016.
The 5’10”, 190-pound Smith is a Palmetto, FL native who played collegiately at Northern Illinois University, where he started 13 games at cornerback his senior year and ranked second in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) with 15 passes defended.
Turning professional in 2013, Smith started 16 games as a Tampa Bay Storm rookie, racking up 70.5 tackles and eight interceptions. In 2014, he played in six games with 27.5 tackles, six interceptions and scored a touchdown on his one kickoff return.
In 2015, Smith was dealt to the Jacksonville Sharks, where in seven games, he recorded 26 tackles and two interceptions. Coincidentally, Chris will face his old team on Opening Night March 17, when the Sharks and Lions tangle at the Columbus Civic Center in the very first NAL game ever.
Gibson said of Smith “Chris is a top-tier defensive back in arena football. With us, he’ll be a shut-down DB and help mentor our younger players. His experience and competitive nature represent “The Lions Way.”
Season tickets, flex-plans and all forms of advertising are being sold in high gear as the home opener is less than 11 weeks away. Interested persons and companies can call the Lions football office at Golden Park (706-322-3336), Civic Center sales office (706-221-6478) or visit www.columbuslions.net. Six regular-season home games are on tap: March 17 vs. Jacksonville; April 2 vs. Georgia Firebirds; April 22 vs. High Country Grizzlies; May 6 vs. Monterrey Steel; May 20 vs. Dayton Wolfpack; June 3 vs. Corpus Christi Rage. --- end release ---
MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT JASON GIBSON: 706-322-3336 X-803 or firstname.lastname@example.org