November 6, 2012 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Jacksonville Sharks
JACKSONVILLE - With the Arena Football League's Free Agency period underway, the 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks made an early splash by announcing that wide receiver Jeff Hughley will return to the team with which he won an ArenaBowl title. Hughley has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a three-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We are extremely excited to have Jeff back in the Shark family and back home in Jacksonville." Sharks Head Coach Les Moss said. "All of our fans know what a dynamic player he is, and it's great to have a veteran like him back in the fold to help lead us to another championship."
2013 will be Hughley's second season with the Sharks, as he served as a key member of Jacksonville's ArenaBowl-winning squad in 2011. An impact receiver and returner, Hughley made headlines by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown in both the Sharks' regular season finale against Spokane and playoff opener against Orlando.
The reigning J. Lewis Small Ironman of the Year, Hughley spent the 2012 season with the Philadelphia Soul, totaling 77 receptions for 1,001 yards and 19 touchdowns. Perhaps Hughley's biggest impact came on special teams, where he returned 92 kickoffs for 1,865 yards and five scores. He finished tied for the league lead with those five touchdowns, third in the league in kickoff return yards and seventh in the league with an average of 160.3 all-purpose yards per game.
With the Sharks in 2011, Hughley was the team's third leading receiver, racking up 1,171 yards and 22 touchdowns on 89 receptions. Of the five Jacksonville receivers with more than 25 catches that season, Hughley led the group with an average of 13.2 yards per reception.
Hughley also made a major impact in the kicking game, returning 67 kickoffs for 1,429 yards and a touchdown in the regular season. Hughley's average of 21.3 yards per kick return ranked him second in the league. During the Sharks' three-game ArenaBowl run, Hughley totaled 13 catches for 268 yards and four touchdowns as well as 268 kickoff return yards and two scores. Hughley's all-around effort earned him a spot on the 2011 All-Ironman Team.
Before joining the Sharks, Hughley made his AFL debut with the Tulsa Talons in 2010, catching 113 pass for 1,258 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also notched four rushing touchdowns and returned a pair of kickoffs for scores. Hughley also spent time with the Talons when the team was a member of af2, earning af2 Ironman of the Year honors in 2009. A native of Chesapeake, Virginia, Hughley played collegiate football at Averett University.