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AFL Press Release

Meyer, McGinnis, and Thompkins earn weekly honors

Tuesday August 4, 2015

Smith and Brooks also awarded for weekend’s highlights

LAS VEGASSan Jose SaberCats quarterback Erik Meyer has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while Cleveland Gladiators nose guard Willie McGinnis has been awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Week, and Orlando Predators wide receiver Brandon Thompkins has been awarded J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 19 of the 2015 Arena Football League season. In addition to these awards, the AFL is also awarding the Cutters Catch of the Week and AFL Highlight of the Week. The Cutters Catch of the Week has also been awarded to Jacksonville Sharks defensive back Terrance Smith, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Portland Thunder wide receiver Duane Brooks.

Meyer (6-2, 215, Eastern Washington) passed for 286 yards and eight touchdowns in the SaberCats’ 56-29 rout of the Arizona Rattlers in Week 19. The former League MVP has not thrown an interception in five straight games and ranks second in the League with a passer rating of 124.2 on the year.

McGinnis (6-3, 310, Rhode Island) notched five tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble in Cleveland’s playoff-clinching 59-42 win over the Spokane Shock in Week 19. The veteran nose guard leads the team with 9.5 sacks this season, three sacks shy of the single-season franchise record of 12.5.

Thompkins (5-10, 190, Arkansas State) scored touchdowns as a receiver, rusher, and returner in the Predators’ 64-50 victory over the Jacksonville Sharks in Week 19. The Playmaker of the Year candidate has hauled in a touchdown reception in 14 consecutive games and rushed for a score in each of the last three contests. He has also recorded triple-digit all-purpose yards in all but one game this season.

Smith (6-2, 200, South Carolina State) went over the wall for an interception in the first quarter of Jacksonville’s 50-64 loss to the Orlando Predators in Week 19. The veteran defender also finished the game with two tackles, bringing him within 12 of Micheaux Robinson’s record of 293 in a Sharks uniform. He will receive a Cutters hat and t-shirt in recognition of the catch.

Brooks (5-10, 185, Stephen F. Austin) set a new single-season AFL record with his eighth kickoff return touchdown of the year in Portland’s 64-33 victory over the Las Vegas Outlaws in Week 19. The Thunder’s all-time leader in kickoff return yards (3,116) and touchdowns (8) also extended his single-season franchise record for kick return yards to 1,930 in 2015.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week candidates included: Cleveland’s Collin Taylor, LA’s Donovan Morgan, Orlando’s Larry Brackins, Philadelphia’s Tommy Taggart, and Portland’s V’Keon Lacey.

Riddell Defensive Player of the Week candidates included: Orlando’s Terence Moore, Philadelphia’s Beau Bell, Portland’s Varmah Sonie, San Jose’s David Hyland, and Tampa Bay’s Al Phillips.

J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week candidates included: Cleveland’s Shane Austin, Philadelphia’s Marco Thomas, Portland’s Duane Brooks, San Jose’s Maurice Purify, and Tampa Bay’s Undra Hendrix.

The Arena Football League is also awarding the MVP of the Week, where fans are given the opportunity to select the winner. Candidates include Cleveland Gladiators wide receiver Collin Taylor, Portland Thunder wide receiver V’Keon Lacey, and San Jose SaberCats wide receiver Maurice Purify. Fans will have 24 hours to vote on beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 5. The winner will be announced on Thursday, August 6.

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. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2015 season. This season will also be the first with Scott C. Butera leading the way as Commissioner. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.