RICHMOND RAIDERS SIGN THREE PLAYERS
Team takes first step toward the 2014 season by inking three veterans
The Richmond Raiders professional indoor football team has signed three veterans to contracts for the 2014 season. Wide receiver Herb Jones, defensive back Maurice Thorne, and wide receiver/kick returner Gerron Bryant become the first players to claim spots on the roster.
Herb Jones (Virginia Union) has been with the Raiders since their first season in 2010 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in catches, yards, and touchdowns. He led the league in receptions in 2013 and was one of only five 1,000 yard receivers in the PIFL. Jones has over 270 catches, 3,000 yards, and 50 touchdowns in his Raiders career.
“Herb accounts for a lot of the offense and is a huge red zone threat,” said Raiders head coach James Fuller. “He’s a guy I can count on to get it done and I value his leadership on offense.” Jones set single game career highs with 14 catches and 150 yards against Columbus on April 20 last season, and notched a career best 5 touchdowns against Louisiana on May 18. He caught the game winning touchdown in Lehigh Valley on April 27 to cap a 21 point comeback, and had three scores during the Raiders’ 23 point rally against Albany May 4.
Maurice Thorne, like Jones, will return for his fifth season in a Raiders uniform. The defensive back out of North Carolina Wesleyan and Hopewell High School defended 8 passes in 2013 and was fifth on the team in tackles despite missing three games due to injury. He also contributed on special teams, returning a missed field goal 45 yards against Knoxville March 23. “Thorne has been one of the anchors of the secondary,” Fuller said. “His ability to play two positions [corner and safety] gives us flexibility in the back half. I look for a productive year from him in 2014.”
Gerron “Scooby” Bryant (Catawba) had a breakout year in 2013. He caught six touchdown passes but made an even bigger impact on special teams. As the Raiders’ primary kick returner, Bryant often electrified the crowds and flipped field position. Fuller expects even more from the speedster next season. “Gerron was a late bloomer for us, but has the ability to have a break out year. His explosiveness and athletic ability makes him dangerous with the ball in his hands.”
Bryant netted 80 return yards in each of back to back games down the stretch and had a 44 yard missed field goal return to go along with a 48 yard kickoff return in the playoffs against Lehigh Valley. The latter set up his own receiving touchdown that got the Raiders on the scoreboard and set off one of his trademark backflip end zone celebrations. “We hope he will start where he ended last year,” Fuller said.
2014 season tickets are now on sale starting at just $35 via on the Raiders’ website, www.RichmondRaidersProFootball.com, and the Raiders’ ticket hotline at 804-780-0430. 2014 will mark the Raiders’ fifth season of professional indoor football in the Richmond Coliseum, and third in the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL). The team has reached the league’s championship game in each of the last two seasons and has the league’s best home record (13-1) over that span.
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