Weekly Wrap Up: Early Offseason Moves
The Cleveland Gladiators have been quite busy during the first week of AFL Free Agency. The team has re-upped with several free agents of their own by exercising rookie options for the 2015 season, while also adding in a couple new fresh faces. More moves will be sure to follow in the coming days and weeks but here are details on the Gladiators offseason moves so far:
The Cleveland Gladiators announced October 1st that they have been assigned DL Randy Colling and OL Phillipkeith Manley.
Colling, 24, re-signs with the Gladiators and 2015 will be his third season with the team. He started 11 games (three in the playoffs) during the 2014 season, totaling 23 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two recovered fumbles.
Manley, 24, joins the Gladiators for his first full season after spending time in the Carolina Panthers training camp in 2014. Manley was a two-year starter for the Toledo Rockets in the 2010-11 seasons before graduating and spending time with the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys in 2012 and 2013.
The Cleveland Gladiators announced September 29th that they have been assigned OL FN Lutz and K Steven Schott and placed K Aaron Pettrey on reassignment.
Lutz, 23, joins Cleveland for his rookie season after graduating from Indiana State University. He started in 42 of his career 44 games for the Sycamores and brings some versatility to the Gladiators offensive line as he started all 12 games at Center in his senior year and started all 11 games at Guard during his junior season.
Lutz is a native of West Lafayette, IN and spent some time during 2014 in training camp with the Indianapolis Colts.
Schott, 24, comes to the Gladiators for his rookie season after a stellar career at Ball State University where he ranks fifth in program history with 41 field goals and was selected First Team All-MAC during his senior season in 2012. He has a knack for big time kicks, making two game winning field goals during his time with the Cardinals, including a 42-yarder in 2012 to beat in-state rival Indiana.
Schott is an Ohio native and attended Massillon Washington High School.
Pettrey, 28, had just finished his third season with the Cleveland Gladiators. He connected on 8 of his 11 field goal tries during the season while also posting an 81.5% on PAT’s. He also connected on two game winning field goals during the season, including a 36 yarder to beat the Philadelphia Soul in the first round of the AFL Playoffs.
On September 24th, the Cleveland Gladiators exercised rookie options on OL Dominic Alford, FB Corey Howard, OL Dashawn Johnson, DL Louis Nzegwu, WR Royce Pollard, DL Robert Rose, and DB Brandon Stephens, while also activating the aforementioned Alford and OL Darren Keyton off of the “Other League Exempt List”
Alford, 26, started one game for Cleveland during the 2014 season before signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL for the rest of the season. He also has experience in the NFL, spending parts of the 2011-13 seasons with the Cleveland Browns.
Howard, 23, appeared in eight games for the Gladiators during the season, including rushing for two touchdowns.
Johnson, 23, was assigned to Cleveland on June 10th but never appeared in a game before being placed on Injured Reserve for the rest of the 2014 season.
Nzegwu, 25, caught on with the Gladiators late in the season and appeared in four games (two playoff games) and totaled five tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and four QB hits.
Pollard, 25, appeared in six games (one playoff game) during his rookie season with the Gladiators. He hauled in six passes for 60 yards and two touchdowns on the campaign.
Rose, 26, appeared in the first 10 games of the season for the Gladiators, starting eight of them, before a knee injury shelved him for the rest of the season. He compiled 8.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble before the injury.
Stephens, 26, appeared in two games, including his first career AFL start June 7th against Iowa, before an arm injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. In his two games he was able to accumulate eight tackles and one pass defended.
Keyton, 24, will enter the 2015 season as an AFL rookie. He has never appeared in a Gladiators game as he has spent time in the Detroit Lions training camp in 2013 and 2014. He is a Michigan native, born in Traverse City, and played collegiately at Central Michigan University where he was a four year contributor at center and guard.