Cincinnati Bengals lineman Andre Smith arrested at airport in Atlanta

Andre Smith was arrested Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when he attempted to board a plane with a pistol. (AP Photo)

Former University of Alabama football player and current Cincinnati Bengals' right tackle Andre Smith was arrested at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday.

Smith, 25, was charged with carrying a weapon in an unauthorized location Thursday afternoon after a loaded .38-caliber handgun was found in his carry-on bag at a TSA security checkpoint.{} Smith was transported to the Clayton County Jail, and he was arraigned in Clayton County Magistrate court Friday before being released on a $3,000 bond.

His next court appearance will be on February 4 for a preliminary hearing.

"We continue to remind passengers of the importance of looking through carry-on bags to ensure there are no prohibited items inside," said Jon Allen, TSA spokesman.

This is the third firearm TSA has discovered at Hartsfield-Jackson this year. Last year, 1,548 firearms were discovered at TSA checkpoints nationwide, up from 1,320 in 2011.

Smith was the top-ranked offensive lineman in the country as a senior at Huffman High School in 2005, and the five-star prospect inked with Alabama on signing day in 2006.

He played three seasons in Tuscaloosa before leaving school early for the 2009 NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals selected him with the sixth overall pick in the first round.