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Albany Empire Bring on Three More Rookies During Free Agency

April 11, 2019 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Albany Empire News Release

ALBANY, NY- The Albany Empire announce that three players have been assigned to the team roster through free agency. Per League and team rules, terms are not disclosed. The free agency signing period for the Arena Football League began on Monday, March 4.

Brandon Fuentes, Defensive Back

Entering his third year of indoor football, Brandon Fuentes returns to Albany after spending some time with the team at the beginning of 2018. He attended St. John Fischer College, by way of the University of Mount Union. He started in his first year at SJFC and helped lead a team to the elite eight. In his senior season in 2016, Fuentes led the conference with six interceptions. In 2017, he joined the High Country Grizzlies, where he ran multiple turnovers back for touchdowns. Fuentes spent the 2018 season playing for the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the NAL. Being from Avon, NY, Fuentes is excited for the opportunity to play near his hometown.

Troy Grant Jr., Wide Receiver

Troy Grant Jr. joins the Empire after participating in a workout down in Orlando with the Empire coaching staff. A Junior College transfer, the Florida native played his junior and senior seasons at Abilene Christian University and made an immediate impact upon his arrival. During his senior season in 2017, Grant led the team in receptions and yards and earned himself All-Conference honors. After getting looks from a handful of NFL teams, Grant spent 2018 training and working on his craft. The son of a former NFL player, Grant is grateful for his opportunity to play with the Empire and is excited for big things to come during the 2019 season.

Jakobi Smith, Offensive Line

Another Florida native to join the Empire, Jakobi Smith stayed in his home state for college where he played at Florida Atlantic University. After redshirting his freshman year, Smith played in his first career game against the University of Alabama. In Smith's senior season in 2017, FAU went on to win the Conference USA championship as well as the Boca Raton Bowl, blowing out Akron 50-3. That same year, Smith was named Most Improved Player on the team. Following college, Smith participated in mini camps with the Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL. Most recently, Smith was a member of the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football League.

Fans can secure season tickets for the Albany Empire by calling 518-533-2200, by going to, or by stopping by the Empire office located in the Times Union Center. A limited number of great seats are still available! Want to bring your organization to a game, fundraise, or perform on the field? Group experiences are now on sale. Call 518-533-2200 for additional information.

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