JACKSONVILLE – The defending American Conference Champion Jacksonville Sharks have concluded training camp and have announced their team’s initial 24-man roster for the 2016 season.
Fourteen key players return to the team after last year’s championship run, including all offensive starters. Four of these offensive starters received All-Arena accolades in 2015, including OL Mo Ruffins, FB Derrick Ross, WR Joe Hills and WR Tiger Jones. Tommy Grady will return to the helm at Quarterback for his sixth AFL season (second in Jacksonville). Grady led the Sharks last season with 95 TDs and 4,660 passing yards. The Sharks have added QB Sean Brackett, WR Roger Jackson and OL Duke Robinson to the offensive side of the ball. Sean Brackett will serve as Grady’s back up for the 2016 season. Brackett enters his second season in the AFL after a solid season with the Las Vegas Outlaws in 2015 where threw for 23 TDs and passed for 1,114 yards in his rookie season. Jackson played for New Orleans in 2015, snaring 74 balls for 924 yards and 16 TDs. Under appreciated OL standouts Ray McNeil and Cornelius Lewis round the rest of the O-line which led the League in only 8 sacks against in 2015.
The front four of the defense has been completely revamped and will be led by veteran MLB Dexter Jackson who played the last two years for the Tampa Bay Storm and DE Khreem Smith.who has 8 years of pro experience in the AFL and CFL.. Rookie Laith Wallschleger and veterans Anthony DeGrate, Jason Holman and Antron Dillon round out the other DEs. The Sharks will look at veteran Mark Weivoda and newly acquired Chuckie Hunter to apply pressure up the middle at the NG position. Most noticeably missing from this year’s squad is 2015 Defensive Lineman of the Year, Joe Sykes, who is contemplating retirement and has not reported.
The Sharks’ secondary will contain familiar faces this season, including FSU product and 2015 Rookie of the Year and All-Arena DB Greg Reid, fan-favorite Laroche Jackson, Chris Smith, Micheaux Robinson, David Hyland and All-Arena product Alvin Ray Jackson.
Jacksonville University standout WR Andrew Robustelli also made the squad, but will be placed on IR to start the season.
Below is a list of the 24-Man Roster:
Tommy Grady, QB Derrick Ross, FB Mo Ruffins, OL Tiger Jones, WR
Sean Brackett, QB Ray McNeil, OL Joe Hills, WR
Cornelius Lewis, OL London Crawford, WR
Duke Robinson, OL Roger Jackson, WR
Jason Holman, OL/DL Andrew Robustelli, WR (IR)
Greg Reid, DB Dexter Jackson, MLB Khreem Smith, DE,NG
Laroche Jackson, DB Laith Wallschelger, DE
Chris Smith, DB Mark Weivoda, NG (IAR)
David Hyland, DB/WR/JLB Antron Dillon, DE
Micheaux Robinson, DB Anthony DeGrate, DE
Alvin Ray Jackson, DB/JLB Chucky Hunter, NG
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time 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 2016 season are now available, two tickets as low as $99. 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 and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.