RICHMOND RAIDERS GET DEFENSIVE IN 2014
New year kicks off with the return of former Hokie Davon Morgan
The Richmond Raiders have rung in the new year by signing four players to contracts for the 2014 season. The quartet will be expected to make big contributions on the defensive side of the ball. Raider veteran Davon Morgan, a former Virginia Tech Hokie, will return for his second season at defensive back. He will be joined in the secondary by Larry Williams. Up front, the defensive line will be fortified by newcomers Wyreaz Bradley and Devin Jones.
Davon Morgan (Virginia Tech) made an immediate impact in his rookie season, and looks to improve across the board in 2014. An All-ACC safety at Virginia Tech, Morgan immediately showed why he received invitations to NFL training camps. He led the Raiders in tackles and was second in passes broken up, while finishing in the top 10 in the league in both categories. “Davon was a very productive player for us in his first year,” said Raiders head coach James Fuller. “Davon has all the tools, he can cover man to man, play zone and tackle.” Both Fuller and Morgan believe that the Varina High School alum can get even better. “He is a guy who you can challenge as a coach, and he will step up,” Fuller continued. “He has been doing all the right things in the off season, and has made a choice to be one of the best, and I think he can do it. He has never taken his eye off his goal of playing on Sundays which keeps him hungry. With one year under his belt, I expect him to be one of the premier DBs in the PIFL.”
Larry Williams (West Virginia) will return to the Raiders after missing the 2013 season. “Larry has a chance to be a very good player for us after being away for a season. He has played every position in the secondary which helps with matchups during games,” Fuller said. Another local product out of Highland Springs High School, Williams was named to the All-Metro, All-Capital Region, and All-Central District teams and became the first player ever to be named to the All-State team at three different positions (DB, WR, KR). That versatility will give Coach Fuller a lot of flexibility in the defensive backfield. “Larry is a very athletic DB that has the ability to play all three DB spots on the field. He has the size to play at the strong corner position, but has the speed and cover skills to play the middle safety spot as well,” he stated. Williams has three career interceptions for the Raiders.
Wyreaz Bradley (Louisiana College) became a mainstay on the Wildcats’ defensive line in his sophomore year and wreaked havoc on opposing offenses. He often broke through into the offensive backfield, racking up sacks and tackles for loss, while also turning in fumble recoveries and even an interception. “He’s a very explosive player that I see playing a few different positions for us. He really impressed me with his strength and his motor. He is a player that is always around the ball and is tough to block because he plays with so much leverage,” Coach Fuller said. Bradley was an All-American Southwest Conference honoree his senior year and was named to the D3 Senior Classic and Dream Bowl postseason all-star teams. Fuller is optimistic that Bradley’s track record and drive will translate to success with the Raiders. “He will have to learn the ins and outs of the indoor game, but has the motor and work ethic that we are looking for in Richmond.”
Devin Jones (Mississippi State) missed just one game over his four year career and played in three bowl games, including a Gator Bowl win over Michigan. While some might call him undersized for a defensive lineman, Coach Fuller believes Jones has the speed and strength to go toe-to-toe with any offensive line. “He’s a player that plays a lot bigger than he is, and has that speed to power that you are looking for in a defensive lineman. His ability to play Nose Tackle at just 260 pounds tells you a lot about him as a player.” Jones played tackle and end in college, and worked out at Mississippi State’s pro day at linebacker. Fuller sees him as yet another versatile player who can contribute at more than one position. “Devin has the power and strength to play inside and the pass rush ability to play on an edge, with a motor to match. I can see really big things from him this season,” he stated.
2014 season and group event tickets are now on sale on the Raiders’ website, www.RichmondRaidersProFootball.com, and the Raiders’ ticket hotline at 804-780-0430. The 2014 home opener will be April 12 in a Championship Game rematch against the Alabama Hammers. Season tickets start at $35, and groups can call the hotline to get customized event packages and prices. 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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