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Joe Hills becomes first AFL player drafted to China

Adam Markowitz
Saturday June 11, 2016


After years of dreaming, negotiating, scouting and general preparation, American football is officially headed to China. The initial six teams of the China Arena Football League underwent their draft on Friday night, and the franchises now officially have their first players.

David Wang was the first player in the history of the CAFL, and he'll become the face of the Guangzhou Power. The Virginia Tech product is the brother of VP of League Development of the newly created league.

From there, the Arena Football League had its first player selected. Joe Hills, who now has 61 straight regular season games with a touchdown in the AFL, was taken No. 2 overall by the Dalian Dragon Kings. Hills was followed by Portland Steel quarterback, Shane Austin, who will be the signal caller of the Shanghai Skywalkers.

A total of 43 players with ties to the AFL were drafted by CAFL teams. Four of the six top quarterbacks drafted to China were starters in the AFL at some point. Only one Chinese quarterback was drafted, Xie Kun to Shanghai in the final round of the draft.

All six of the teams have at least 10 Chinese players on their roster. Most notable is the fact that most of the linemen in the league are set to be Chinese nationals.

Beijing Lions
QBs: Chris Dieker, Luke Collis
WR/DBs: James Romain, Collin Taylor Xing Long Xiong, Tsu Yao Lam, Zhang Xiao Zha, Erwin Sennett Wu, Junxing Zhang, Chris Hemphill
OL/DLs: Wayne Tribue, Neal Tivis, Teddy Jennings, Chih-Ping Cheng, Calvin Fance, Zhang Tian Hao, Chen Yen Chen, Li Xiang, Zhang Xiang Yu
K: Patrick Clarke

Guangzhou Power
QBs: JJ Raterink, Alex Carder
WR/DBs: Andre Martin, Qiu Xun Da, Duane Brooks, Lavasier Tuinei, Liang Xin Hao, Virgil Gray, Ma Jin Hui, Zao Yun
OL/DLs: David Wang, Brennan Carvalho, Yang Hao, Tyre Glasper, Dexter Davis, Frank Trotter, Sun Mo Han, Li An, Zhang Hai Tao, Guo Xu

Dalian Dragon Kings
QB: Phillip Garcia
WR/DBs: Joe Hills, Talib Wise, Lavasier Tuinei, Kent Richardson, Kay Ip, Darnell Burks, Ma Zhen, Maurice Woodward
OL/DLs: Billy Lai, Kwok-Wing Tang, Yan Li Guang, Ameer Ismail, Qu San Zhi, Jarrod Hernandez, Jordan Mosley, Fan Zheng Yu, Guo Xu, Anthony Sanders III, Xu Chabg

Shanghai Skywalkers
QBs: Shane Austin, Xie Kun
WR/DBs: Liu Shuai, Dwayne Hollis, Shaun Kauleinamoku, Wang Lei, Mike Washington, Zhao Zhen Nan, Christian Wise, Kevin Bartie
OL/DLs: Justin Lawrence, Gu Xu Bing, Zhang Dong Shen, Willie McGinnis, Travis Miller, Xu You Peng, Zheng Yu Jiang, Tian Ye, Xiao Yu
K: Taylor Russolino

Shenzhen Naja
QBs: Dak Britt, Xie Kun
WR/DBs: Wang Shida, Terrance Smith, Tristan Purifoy, LaChristopher Lee, Xu Xin Tian, Lin Yi Hong, John Kieth
OL/DLs: Du Feng, Zhang Jia Qi, Colin Madison, Xin Xu, Robert Williams Jr., Adrian Ferns, Larry Max Westphal, Han Shao Chuan, Shen Yu Lan, David Hong
K: Kimo Naehu

Qingdao Clipper
QB: Bryan Randall
WR/DBs: Rayshaun Kizer, Joe Phinisee, Xavier Boyce, Reggie Gray, Tanner Varner, He Shi Lei, Chen Zheng De, Baihetiyaer Tuerxun, Zhang Tian Chu
OL/DLs: Jason Holman, Jake Metz, Kevin Kuo, Sun Shuo, Zhang Tian Shou, Matt Moss, Wondell Rutledge, A Tie, Lang Shi Xue
K: Guo Rui Bin


 
Adam Markowitz is an accountant and a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 16 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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