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AFL Press Release

AFL awards Week 8 Players of the Week

Wednesday May 25, 2016

 Grady, Reid, Taylor Earn Weekly Honors With Standout Performances

LAS VEGAS (May 24, 2016) – The Arena Football League has announced that Jacksonville’s Tommy Grady, Jacksonville’s Greg Reid and Cleveland’s Collin Taylor have been named as the Under Armour Offensive Player, Riddell Defensive Player and AFL Playmaker of the Week for Week 8, respectively. In addition to these awards, the AFL has awarded Arizona’s Joe Matthews the Cutters Catch of the Week, while the AFL Highlight of the Week was awarded to Philadelphia’s LaRico Stevenson. Those clips can be found by following the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball).

UNDER ARMOUR OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Grady (6’7, 240, Utah) completed 22-of-27 passes for 288 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Jacksonville Sharks to a 65-34 victory over the Portland Steel and earned AFL Playmaker of the Game honors at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena this past weekend. The 2012 AFL MVP and former All-Arena performer has completed 176-of-259 passes (68.0%) for 2,071 yards, 40 touchdowns and only three interceptions in guiding the Sharks (3-4) this season. Grady and the Sharks will next face the rival Orlando Predators (7-1) on Friday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Amway Center on WatchESPN.

RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Reid (5’9, 185, Florida State) helped lead the way for the Sharks as the defeated the Portland Steel 65-34 on this past weekend at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The 2015 AFL Rookie of the Year recorded a game-high 7.5 total tackles, a tackle for loss, five pass breakups and an interception that sealed the victory in overtime. Reid leads the Sharks (3-4) with 52.0 total tackles, 13 pass breakups, 17 passes defended, a forced fumble and No. 2 with four interceptions in 2016. Reid and the Sharks will next face the rival Orlando Predators (7-1) on Friday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Amway Center on WatchESPN.

J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK: Taylor (6’1, 205, Indiana) put up impressive numbers in the hard-fought 70-63 overtime victory against the Tampa Bay Storm on Monday in Amalie Arena on Univision Deportes. The six-year veteran hauled in eight passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns, including two scores in the fourth quarter and the game-tying score with 10 seconds remaining in the contest. The former Hoosier currently leads the Gladiators with 59 receptions for 710 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016. Taylor and the Gladiators will host the American Conference leading Philadelphia Soul (7-1), this Saturday, May 28 at 7 p.m. ET at Quicken Loans Arena on CBS Sports Network.

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK: Matthews (6’2, 200, New Mexico State) made an impressive rookie debut hauling in five receptions for 84 yards and three touchdowns in Arizona’s 47-34 win over the KISS at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The former Aggie made a spectacular grab in the end zone around the helmet of KISS DB Josh Victorian as time expired in the second quarter. Not only is it this week’s Cutters catch, but the play made the No. 2 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays Saturday night.

AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: Stevenson (5’11, 200, West Georgia) scored his first touchdown of the season when he recovered a fumble on a kick return that bounced of the iron in the third quarter of the Soul’s 62-54 win over the Predators. The seventh-year veteran has racked up 24.5 tackles, broken up four passes, forced and recovered a fumble this season on defense for Philadelphia. The former Wolf has also fielded nine kick returns for 159 yards.

Under Armour Offensive Player candidates included: Arizona’s Joe Matthews, Jacksonville’s Joe Hills, Philadelphia’s Dan Raudabaugh and Tampa Bay’s T.T. Toliver

Riddell Defensive Player candidates included: Arizona’s Allen Chapman, Jacksonville’s LaRoche Jackson, Philadelphia’s Dwayne Hollis and Tampa Bay’s Cortez Stubbs

J. Lewis Small Playmaker candidates included: Arizona’s Chase Deadder, Jacksonville’s Tommy Grady, Orlando’s Brandon Thompkins, Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds and Tampa Bay’s Jimmy Gordon

PREVIOUS WINNERS:
WEEK 1: Orlando’s Randy Hippeard (Offensive), Arizona’s Damien Borel and Luis Vazquez (Co-Defensive), Philadelphia’s Shaun Kauleinamoku (Playmaker), Los Angeles’ Donovan Morgan (Catch), and Cleveland’s Joe Powell (Highlight).
WEEK 2: Jacksonville’s Joe Hills (Offensive), Cleveland’s Joe Powell (Defensive), Arizona’s Rod Windsor (Playmaker), Tampa Bay’s Philip Barnett (Catch), and Orlando’s Kent Richardson (Highlight).
WEEK 3: Arizona’s Nick Davila (Offensive), Los Angeles’ Rayshaun Kizer (Defensive), Philadelphia’s Teddy Jennings (Playmaker), Cleveland’s Brandon Stephens (Catch), and Orlando’s Brandon Thompkins (Highlight).
WEEK 4: Philadelphia’s Dan Raudabaugh (Offensive), Orlando’s Varmah Sonie (Defensive), Arizona’s Maurice Purify (Playmaker), Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds (Catch), and Cleveland’s Marvin Ross (Highlight).
WEEK 5: Orlando’s Brandon Thompkins (Offensive), Arizona’s Dimetrio Tyson (Defensive), Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds (Playmaker), Arizona’s Rod Windsor (Catch), and Tampa Bay’s Mike Washington (Highlight)
WEEK 6: Orlando’s Randy Hippeard (Offensive), Los Angeles’ Josh Victorian (Defensive), Cleveland’s Arvell Nelson (Playmaker), Cleveland’s Collin Taylor (Catch) and Philadelphia’s Dwayne Hollis (Highlight)
WEEK 7: Philadelphia’s Dan Raudabaugh (Offensive), Cleveland’s Marvin Ross (Defensive), Tampa Bay’s Jimmy Gordon (Playmaker), Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds (Catch), and Orlando’s Greg Carr (Highlight).

ABOUT THE AFL
The Arena Football League enters its 29th Season in 2016. 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 nationally broadcast AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl on ESPN. For all the latest news and discussion on the Arena Football League, follow the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball).