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Portland announces initial Free Agent class

Wednesday October 9, 2013

 Arena Football Franchise Inks Deals with Six “Rookie” Players

PORTLAND, OR – One day after naming its head coach, Portland’s Arena Football franchise announced it has agreed to terms with six rookie free agents. The team began by building in the trenches with the additions of offensive linemen Max Jean-Gilles, Jason Slowey and Aderious Simmons. Portland also acquired weapons for its offense in wideouts Eric Rogers and Dontel Watkins. On defense, the franchise added cornerback Coryell Judie to its secondary.

“Building a championship football program is an ongoing process, but we took great strides towards achieving that goal today with the addition of six outstanding players,” said Head Coach Matthew Sauk. “We gained strength on our offensive line and added playmaking ability to our secondary and receiving corps. I couldn’t be more excited about how we’ve begun to assemble this roster.”

Jean-Gilles (6-4, 340, Georgia) was a consensus first-team All-American and All-SEC selection during his senior season at the University of Georgia. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, where he would go on to start 16 games over four seasons. Jean-Gilles later spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers before joining Portland.

A native of Medford, Oregon, Slowey (6-4, 300, Western Oregon) was a two-time all-conference selection at Western Oregon University, where he earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year accolades as a senior in 2011. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and has also played for the Oakland Raiders.

Simmons (6-7, 305, Arizona State) brings professional experience from both the NFL and the Canadian Football League. He signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2013. After transferring from El Camino (CA) Junior College, Simmons started nine games over two seasons at Arizona State University.

Rogers (6-4, 210, Cal-Lutheran) shattered all-time school records for scoring and receiving during his collegiate career at Division III’s California Lutheran University. In four seasons, the prolific wide receiver hauled in 220 receptions for 3,461 yards and 41 touchdowns. Rogers was named a first-team All-American and the SCIAC Offensive Player of the Year as a senior after snaring 91 balls for 1,298 yards and 18 scores. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Watkins (6-2, 202, Murray State) transferred to Utah State University in 2010 after two seasons at Butler Community College (KS). As a sophomore, he led the Aggies with 42 catches for 492 yards and four touchdowns. Watkins played his final college season at Murray State University, where he recorded 39 receptions for 561 yards and five scores as a senior. He signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Judie (6-0, 195, Texas A&M) arrives in Portland after gaining professional experience as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos in 2012. After two seasons at Fort Scott (KS) Community College, where he earned Junior College All-American honors as a sophomore in 2008, Judie transferred to Texas A&M University. He garnered All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention accolades in 2010, as he totaled 57 tackles with four interceptions, four pass breakups and two tackles for loss while adding 605 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 kickoff returns.

Portland opens its inaugural season at the Moda Center in March of 2014. For information on season tickets, call 503-773-4AFL. For the latest news and information, visit PortlandAFL.com or facebook.com/PDXAFL and follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@portlandafl).

About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. CBS Sports Network will broadcast an AFL National Game of the Week on Saturday nights for the entire season. The AFL schedule then culminates with the ArenaBowl Championship game pitting the American Conference Champions versus the National Conference Champions for the James F. Foster Trophy.