Kennewick, WA - Just a few days after the conclusion of the 2015 United Bowl Championship, the Tri-Cities Fever have already turned the page to 2016 with the signing 9 players, including the return of the team's entire starting offensive line.
The Tri-Cities Fever would like to announce the re-signings of wide receivers DeJuan Miller (6'5" 216lbs) from University of Oklahoma and DeJay Lester (6'3" 208lbs) from University of Wyoming; linebacker Leon Jackson (6'2" 210bs) from University of Delaware; defensive end/wide receiver Kyler Reed (6'3" 227lbs) from University of Nebraska; and offensive linemen Lloyd Morrison Jr. (6'2" 320lbs) from Fordham University, Rodrick Gladney (6'4" 365lbs) from Jackson State University; Gabriel Hampton (6'5" 325lbs) from Georgia State University; quarterback Patrick McCain (6'5" 230lbs) from Jacksonville University; and defensive back Dontavais Johnson (5'9" 170lbs) from Coastal Carolina University.
Miller will be joining the Fever for his 4th season. He had a break-out season in 2015 where he finished 5th in receiving receptions in the IFL with 62. Miller said of his past year, "I am glad I was finally able to stay healthy for a whole season and do what I know I am capable of." He also totaled 514 yards good for 13th in the league; both stats were career highs for Miller. After 3 years of going home in the off-season, Miller will be staying in the Tri-Cities this time, making it his residence this past season.
The end of the season saw the addition of veteran indoor wide receiver DeJay Lester. Lester joined the Fever from the New Orleans Voodoo of the AFL and has played for many IFL and AFL teams in his career. In the 4 games Lester played he grabbed 7 passes for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Leon Jackson joined the Fever after their 5th game and took over starting duties at linebacker. In a great rookie season Jackson managed to lead the league in tackles for loss per game with 1.72. Even with only playing 9 games he also finished 6th in the IFL in total tackles for loss at 15.5, 8th in tackles per game at 8.1 and 13th in solo tackles with 49. The Fever and Jackson are looking forward to what he can do in a whole season in 2016.
Bouncing in and out of the active line-up in his rookie season, Kyler Reed ended the year playing defensive end and managing 9 solo tackles and 14 tackles overall. Reed joined the Fever as a wide receiver but depth at that position and need along the line combined with Reed's flexibility allowed him to see time on both sides of the ball in 2015.
Lloyd Morrison will be entering his 3rd season with the Fever in 2016. Morrison anchors the offensive line at the center position and is a staple in the Tri-Cities community doing appearances weekly in the school systems.
Joining Morrison on the offensive line will be Rodrick Gladney who came to the Fever this season after playing for the Colorado Ice previously. Gladney liked the Tri-Cities so well that in addition to doing weekly community events, he has decided to stay here in the offseason.
Gabriel Hampton rounds out the return of all three starting offensive linemen that played most of the season together for the Fever. The three joined the team early in the season and formed an immediate strong bond. Hampton like Morrison and Gladney was out in the community weekly and the Tri-Cities can plan on them doing the same next season; that and keeping the Fever quarterbacks upright of course.
Patrick McCain was one of 5 quarterbacks who saw action for the Fever last season. Patrick was a late year addition that came in to a game off the bench after only being with the team for 2 days. A knee injury late in that game forced him to the season ending injured reserve list. In his brief time he completed 8 of 18 passes for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns to one interception. A healthy McCain will come into the Fever camp in 2016 looking to compete for the quarterback job, in what will be his rookie season.
Dontavais Johnson joined the Fever in midseason, but a foot injury delayed his ability to get on the field. Johnson did manage to start 2 games and average 4.5 tackles and 1 pass breakup in that time. Dontavais is staying in the Tri-Cities this off-season to train and come to camp in 2016 for his second season of Fever football.