Gladiators Off-Season Tracker (10-21-15)
Preparations for the 2016 Arena Football League Season have already begun. The Cleveland Gladiators have exercised rookie options on several of their own free agents as well as adding two new pieces via the Offseason Assignment Process
Offseason move details below:
The Cleveland Gladiators announced on October 16th they had been assigned FB R.J. Bibbs and WR Charles McClain via the Offseason Assignment Process.
Bibbs, 28, is a veteran of three seasons, playing in 11 games with the New Orleans VooDoo in 2015 and 16 games combined the previous two seasons with the Jacksonville Sharks. Bibbs ran 14 times for 29 yards and three touchdowns during his 2014 campaign with the Sharks.
Prior to his Arena Football League career, Bibbs attended Miles College in Alabama where he played center for the Golden Bears. Following the 2009 season, Bibbs was invited to play in the All-American Bowl.
Bibbs is originally from Pleasant Grove, Alabama.
McClain, 26, is coming off a rookie season in which he caught 35 passes for 345 yards and seven touchdowns. A decent portion of those numbers came on June 12th, when he caught eight passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-34 losing effort to his now new team, the Cleveland Gladiators.
Prior to joining the Arena Football League, McClain was a member of the Alabama Hammers of both the Southern Indoor Football League and Professional Indoor Football League from 2011-2015.
McClain played collegiately at North Alabama University where he tallied 82 receptions, 816 yards, and five touchdowns in his career.
McClain is originally from Oxford, Alabama.
Prior to that, the Cleveland Gladiators announced on October 7th that they had exercised rookie options on some of their own free agents. The list includes: OL Adrian Battles, OL D.J. Brandel, DB Trevor Coston, WR Josiah Holt, OL Phillip-Keith Manley, DB Joe Powell, DL Austin Teitsma, DB Kenny Veal, and DL Colby Way.
Battles, 28, joined the Gladiators in August as a rookie to the Arena Football League. Battles appeared in the regular season finale at home against the Philadelphia Soul as well as in the first round playoff game against the same Philadelphia team.
Brandel, 24, was assigned to the Gladiators on June 4th for his rookie season but never appeared in a game.
Brandel spent time in training camp with the San Jose Sabercats and prior to this season, played collegiately at Chapman University in California.
Coston, 26, appeared in two games as a rookie collecting 13.5 tackles before spending the rest of the season in the Canadian Football League.
Coston previously spent time in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears and played collegiately at Maine, where he was a three-year starter and finished his career with 215 tackles and 12 interceptions.
Holt, 23, played in one game during his rookie season and caught two passes for 33 yards. The speedy wide receiver is a local product, having played his college ball at Baldwin Wallace University.
Holt is originally from Grafton, Ohio.
Manley, 25, appeared in 10 games during his rookie season in the Arena Football League and was a starter in nine of those contests. Manley proved to be versatile as he lined up at fullback and center during the 2015 season.
Manley has some NFL experience, spending time with the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, and Carolina Panthers before joining the Gladiators.
Manley played collegiately at Toledo and is originally from Hamilton, Ohio.
Powell, 21, was assigned to the Gladiators as a rookie on August 11th but did not appear in the playoff game in Philadelphia.
Prior to that, Powell played for the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the PIFL during the 2015 season, where he made 52.5 tackles and intercepted 11 passes. For his efforts, Powell was named Defensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the First-Team All-PIFL as a Defensive Back.
Powell played collegiately at Globe Tech and is from Portsmith, Virginia.
Teitsma, 24, was assigned as a rookie to the Gladiators on July 8th but never dressed for the team during the 2015 season.
Before joining the Arena Football League, Teitsma played collegiately at the University of Illinois, where he totaled 124 tackles from 2011-14.
Teitsma is originally from Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Veal, 26, was assigned to the Gladiators on July 30th but also never appeared in a game during the 2015 season.
Prior to signing with Cleveland, Veal played for the Nashville Venom of the PIFL where he was named First-Team All-PIFL as a Defensive Back during the 2015 season.
Veal played collegiately at the University of Toledo and is from Hamilton, Ohio.
Way, 24, played in two games for the Gladiators as a rookie, making seven tackles before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the 2015 season.
Prior to signing with Cleveland, Way spent time in the NFL by participating in training camp with the Buffalo Bills.
Way also played collegiately at the University of Buffalo and is originally from State College, Pennsylvania.