SPOKANE, Washington – The Empire has signed wide receiver Devonn Brown and defensive end John "J.D." Griggs to their 2017 IFL roster.
Brown (WR, 5-9, 165, Lamar) joins the Empire for his first season as a member of the IFL. Devonn most recently spent time in the CFL's B.C. Lions 2016 Training Camp. During his final two collegiate seasons at Lamar University (TX), Brown saw action in 23 games (15 starts) as he hauled in 59 receptions for 906 yards and eight touchdowns. He also added 26 kick returns for 449 yards. Before attending Lamar, Devonn attended Fresno State University and Riverside City College (CA). At RCC, he earned second-team All-Central Conference as a sophomore after hauling in 52 receptions for 806 yards and ten touchdowns. Brown is originally from Long Beach, California.
"Devonn Brown is a dynamic receiver with elite speed," said Empire Head Coach Adam Shackleford. "He is not only an issue for opposing defenses in the open field but can also stretch the field and open up opportunities underneath for his teammates."
Griggs (DL, 6-5, 270, Akron) joins the Empire for his second season as a member of the IFL. Last season, he saw action in nine games as a member of the Colorado Crush and recorded 19 total tackles (15 solos), eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and four quarterback hurries. In 2013, J.D. spent time with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers. During his final two collegiate seasons at Akron University (OH), Griggs recorded 69 total tackles, seven sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception in 24 games. At Nassau Community College (NY) in 2010, J.D. was responsible for 50 tackles, 18 tackles-for-loss, and eight sacks as his team finished 11-0, and he earned All-Northeast Conference honors. He played his prep career at Piscataway High School in Piscataway, New Jersey.
"J.D. Griggs is a powerful and long defensive end with the ability to contribute against the run and the pass," said Empire Head Coach Adam Shackleford. "After competing against him last season when he was with Colorado, and he gave our offensive line absolute fits, we knew he was a guy we needed to target and bring to Spokane in 2017."