Shock begin filling out 2014 roster
Posted on September 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM
Updated Tuesday, Sep 10 at 5:26 PM
SPOKANE, WA (September 10, 2013) – The Spokane Shock have made several new additions through the off-season assignment process as well as exercised rookie contract options for the 2014 season.
During 2013, the Shock fielded a number of AFL rookies and have exercised league rookie options to extend contracts into the 2014 season.
Seven of the nine players saw time for the Shock in 2013, leaving Head Coach Andy Olson excited about the opportunity to begin 2014 with a strong nucleus of talent. “We were very pleased with the performance of our rookies last season. The group of guys we had last year made great strides on the field and we’re looking forward to having them back to compete in training camp with a year under their belt.”
Kamar Jorden will return to the Shock after a strong rookie season. During regular season play, Kamar played in 17 games while starting in 14 of those contests. Alongside AFL Receiver of the Year Adron Tennell, Kamar was second on the team in receptions (96), receiving yards (1,119) and touchdowns (27) during the regular season. The Shock will also return wide receiver Duane Brooks who played in eight games on his way to recording 35 receptions for 316 yards and six touchdowns. Demario Ballard did not see the field in 2013, but Spokane has exercised the league rookie option on the 6’6” 230 pound receiver from Western Oregon.
Spokane will also return four offensive linemen, all of which saw time for the Shock throughout the 2013 season. Will Falakiseni played in all 18 regular season games, starting in all but the first game of the season at either fullback or center as a part of an offensive line that gave up only 14 sacks on the year (second best in the AFL). The Shock will also return a pair of Idaho Vandals to the offensive line in 2013 in Samuel Tupua and Tyrone Novikoff, both of which started five games over the course of the year. Miniya Smith was a late season addition to the Shock prior to the National Conference Championship game against Arizona and will return to Spokane for his second season as a member of the AFL in 2014.
The Shock will also return Arvell Nelson in 2014 who possessed the ability to play multiple positions and serve as a utility player. As the backup quarterback to 2013 AFL MVP Erik Meyer, Nelson completed 16 of 20 pass attempts for 162 yards and five touchdowns while adding 14 rushes for 24 yards and 4 touchdowns. Beyond the quarterback position Nelson also saw time at wide receiver (9 receptions for 67 yards and 6 touchdcowns), jack-linebacker and played a key role on special teams for the Shock last season. Spokane also exercised the league rookie option for the former Baylor defensive back Antaries Bryan who did not see the field in 2013 as he spent time with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts.
During the AFL’s off season assignment process the Shock have also added a trio of players.
Spokane has been assigned 6’2 215 pound receiver Thomas Mayo from California University of Pennsylvania. After his senior season at California (PA), Mayo was selected as an AP Second-Team All-American before and was signed by the NFL’s Oakland Raiders in 2012 as an undrafted free agent. In 2013, Mayo spent time with the NFL’s New York Jets.
Defensive back Josh Pleasant will return to Spokane for the 2014 season after beginning 2013 in the Shock’s Training Camp before playing his rookie season with the Chicago Rush. During the 2013 AFL season as a member of the Rush, Pleasant saw action in 10 games on his way to registering 38.5 total tackles (33 solo, 11 assisted), one tackle for loss, two interceptions, ten pass break ups and two fumble recoveries.
The Shock have also been assigned former Oklahoma Sooner offensive lineman Duke Robinson to the 2014 roster. Robinson was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft and spent the 2009-2011 seasons with the Carolina Panthers. In 2012, Robinson was a member of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans before he played his rookie AFL season in 2013 with the Utah Blaze.
"All three of these players have the talent to make an impact with the Shock this year. Each year we add new players to the core of our team. They'll be great players for us on the field and excellent ambassadors for the Shock in the community. We're a better team with the addition of Robinson, Mayo and Pleasant,” said Shock General Manager Ryan Rigmaiden.
The opening of the AFL’s off season free agent period also provided the Shock an opportunity to add veteran talent with the assignment of former Jacksonville Sharks defensive lineman and linebacker Derrick Summers.
Summers joined the Sharks in 2011 for his AFL rookie debut and saw action in 18 games (started 16) on his way to recording 35 total tackles (27 solo, 16 assisted), 12 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Midway through the 2012 AFL season Summers was signed by the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts where he appeared in eight games and recorded 12 tackles and two sacks. After being released by the Argonauts, Summers spent time with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats where he registered a sack in two games. He would return to the AFL’s Jacksonville Sharks in 2013 where he appeared in eight games (started three) and recorded 17 total tackles (12 solo, 10 assisted), 3.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
“Summers is an experienced defensive end who always get to the quarterback. The Shock finished fourth in sacks last year and we want to be even better in 2014. Adding Summers will be a big part of that,” said Shock General Manager Ryan Rigmaiden.