06/26/2012 6:09 PM - JACKSONVILLE - The ArenaBowl XXIV Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Tuesday that defensive back LaRoche Jackson has been named the Arena Football League’s Riddell Defensive Player of the Week for Week 16 of the 2012 season. The award recognizes Jackson’s remarkable performance in the team’s 56-42 win over the Cleveland Gladiators on Saturday, June 23.
Making an impact throughout the game, Jackson led all players with 10.5 total tackles (9 solo) in Saturday’s game. With his team leading by a touchdown in the fourth quarter and the Gladiator offense in the red zone, Jackson jumped in front of the intended receiver to intercept John Dutton in the end zone and preserve the Jacksonville lead. Jackson added another interception on Cleveland’s final drive and also tied for the team lead with three pass breakups.
Jackson’s Week 16 performance continued his recent run of strong play. The defensive back has now recorded four interceptions in the team’s last four games, returning one of those picks for a touchdown. For the season, Jackson leads the team with 72.5 total tackles (62 solo) and is tied for the team lead with four interceptions. In addition, Jackson ranks second among all Shark defenders with 10 pass breakups and has also both forced and recovered a fumble this season.
The 28-year-old Jackson is in his second season in the Arena Football League. As a rookie in 2011, Jackson established a new franchise record with 119 total tackles (99 solo) and also racked up six interceptions, 10 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. The native of Irwinton, GA played collegiately at Clark Atlanta University before beginning his professional career.
Jackson becomes the sixth Shark to win a weekly league award in 2012. Wide receiver Terrance Smith was named the AFL Playmaker of the Week for both Week 4 and Week 6, and also earned the Spalding Highlight of the Week for Week 7. Lineman Jason Holman was named JLS Ironman of the Week following Week 8, and fullback Rendrick Taylor earned the Spalding Highlight of the Week following Week 11.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2013 season are now available, two tickets as low as $185. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance.