Gladiators Assigned DL Matt Hardison

The Cleveland Gladiators have been assigned DL Matt Hardison, the team announced Monday.

Hardison, 27, enters his third season in the Arena Football League after splitting the 2015 season with the Las Vegas Outlaws and New Orleans VooDoo.

Over the course of his first two seasons in the AFL, including his 2014 rookie season with the Tampa Bay Storm, Hardison has tallied 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks, an interception, as well as two blocked kicks.

“Matt is a big, physical defensive end that can both collapse the pocket and also beat you with speed coming off the edge,” Gladiators head coach Steve Thonn added. “He has been very effective the past two seasons and we look forward to building on that success this upcoming season.”

Before signing with Tampa Bay in the AFL in 2013, Hardison spent a brief time in camp with the Cincinnati Bengals before finding a home on the New York Jets practice squad for the entirety of the 2012 season.

Prior to going to pro, Hardison spent three years playing collegiately at Rutgers University before transferring to the University of Delaware for his junior and senior seasons. He appeared in 24 games over the two-year span with the Blue Hens, where he collected 29 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and one sack.

A native of Freehold, NJ, Hardison played his high school football at Freehold Township High School where he was an All-District selection as well as a PrepStar All-East selection as a tight end, defensive end, and linebacker.