The Carolina Panthers signed ten players to their practice squad on Sunday, including former Appalachian State University All-American linebacker D.J. Smith.



Smith, who was taken by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round (186th pick overall) of the National Football League Draft in 2011, played one game on special teams with the Houston Texans last season before he was put on waivers. Smith has bounced around the last two seasons.


Following a successful rookie campaign with the Packers in 2011---he played in 16 games that season, including three starts, and he made 43 tackles with an interception. Smith moved his way into the starting line up in 2012 before his season was cut short by an injury. He appeared in six games that season and made 39 stops .


The Packers released him in April of 2013 after he failed a his physical; he was signed as a free agent by the San Diego Chargers the day after Green Bay released him. But the Chargers cut him loose just before the season started.


He was signed as a free agent by the Texans in November. They let him go after the season ended.


Smith was a All-America with App State. The Charlotte native, who attended Independence High School, led the NCAA Division I FCS in active tackles with 525 by the end of his career. He also became the first Appalachian State player since three-time NFL Pro Bowl nominee Dexter Coakley to have more than 500 tackles in his career.



Photo Courtesy: D. J. Smith, App State Athletics