The last week of November has been a big week for IFL that are in the process of building their 2023 rosters. Several teams in the league are working hard to re-sign players from 2022, and at the same time, teams are looking to evaluate and add new talent.
For some teams this process also involves re-structuring their coaching staff and work to bring new life for a new season. The IFL is a league based on parity, so if a team can make the right personnel moves this time of year, that can give them a big boost towards being a championship contender. Let’s take a look at the that numerous acquisitions IFL teams have made this week.
Duke City Gladiators
The Duke City Gladiators have promoted defensive back coach Fred Griggs to their head coach position for the 2023 season. Griggs brings a wealth of experience both as a player and a coach. As a players Griggs played with the IFL’s Cedar Rapids Titans, Iowa Barnstormers, Boston Blaze of the CAL, Bloomington Edge of the CIF, the Kansas City Phantoms, and the Duke City Gladiators.
Griggs has also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Gladiators. His knowledge of indoor football, and the Gladiators organization should give him and opportunity to relate well to the Duke City players.
Bay Area Panthers
The Bay Area Panthers have continued their efforts to improve their roster depth on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The Panthers have added Mike Andrejco, and former Pitt Panther Keldrick Wilson to their offensive line.
In addition, IFL rookie Josh Greenwood is joining the Panthers as a defensive lineman. They have also added defensive back Esaias Gandy which comes to the Bay area after playing collegiately with the Wyoming Cowboys. Adding talent and depth to the lines and defensive backfield are critical for the Panthers as they work to improve their effort to compete weekly in the IFL.
Green Bay Blizzard
The Blizzard are another team that is coming off of a difficult 2022 season, and are working to have a chance to play championship level football in 2022. With that in mind, the Blizzard have added Indiana University kicker Logan Justus. Justus had an 82.1% success rate on field goals, and 96.3% success rate on extra points for the Hoosiers.
Green Bay has also re-signed defensive back Tre Claybourne, Claybourne produced 53.5 tackles, 2 interceptions and 11 pass break ups in 15 games in 2022. They have also added defensive lineman Dishawn Ray, and offensive lineman Damien Britt to their roster for 2023.
The Western division champion Frisco Fighters has added several players to their roster this week. On offense, the Fighters have added offensive lineman Donell Paster, running back Ramses Owens, wide receiver Elisha Peat, and have re-signed TJ Edwards for a second IFL season. The Fighters have also added several defensive players, defensive lineman Jeff Branch, defensive back Ethan Owens, and defensive back Troy Lefeged. The Fighters have also re-signed defensive lineman Zaycoven Henderson
The Tulsa Oilers are in the process of building a roster from scratch, and this week they added their first wide receiver Jeremiah Harris. He is a 5’8″ 165 lbs receiver that comes with professional experience. Harris has prior indoor football experience with the Tucson Sugar Skulls in 2019, and he played in 8 games with the Arizona Rattlers in 2021.
He is a product of Webber International University where he was a significant contributor. It will be interesting to see if Harris can have a breakout season with the Oilers offense in 2023.
The Rattlers have started the process of bringing back the top ranked offensive line in the IFL during the 2022 season. They have re-signed offensive lineman JJ Colimon and Eric Magwood for their 2nd season. Both lineman played with the Rattlers in 2022 and contributed to an offensive line that only surrendered 12 sacks in 18 games. Continuity is an important factor with regard to building an effective offensive line, and having the ability to bring players back that have chemistry is a huge advantage.
Quad City Steamwheelers
The IFL National Champion runner-up has made several personnel moves this week. On the offensive line the Steamwheelers have added 6’9″ 385 pound Xavier Hearns and they have re-signed 2022 IFL All-Rookie Joe Krall.
The Steamwheelers have also re-signed wide receiver Londell Lee. In 2022, Lee had 15 catches for 178 yards for 3 touchdowns. Only time will tell if these roster moves will help the Steamwheelers bring an IFL National Championship to the Quad Cities in 2023.
Sioux Falls Storm
The Sioux Falls Storm had the 6th offense and an 8-8 record in the IFL in 2022. For a franchise that has expectations of winning a championship every season, the off-season will be critical for making moves to regain their champion status.
By re-signing wide receiver Donnie Corley the Storm is getting a great start to getting back to past glory. In 2022, Corley had 23 catches for 398 yards, and he scored 10 touchdowns. Corley will need to continue will be expected to continue to produce at that level once again in 2023.
Northern Arizona Wranglers
The defending IFL National Champions are working to continue to make improvements to their roster for the 2023 season. The Wranglers have added 6’2″ 320 pound offensive lineman Anthony McMeans. McMeans brings a wealth of professional football experience, most recently he played on the 2022 Arizona Rattlers offensive line.
He also had experience with the AAF Arizona Hotshots, AFL Columbus Destroyers, AFL Washington Valor, and he attended the LA Rams Rookie mini-camp in 2017. The Wranglers have also added dual threat quarterback Nick Watson which comes to Northern Arizona after having a very successful career at Tiffin University in Ohio.
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