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AFL Names Rookie, Ironman Squads

August 17, 2002 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) News Release

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Arena Football League announced during their annual ArenaBall Awards Banquet Friday night the selections for the 2002 All-Rookie and All-Ironman Teams.

The expansion Dallas Desperados led all AFL teams with three selections to the All-Rookie team. OL/DL SHANTE CARVER, WR/LB ANDY MCCULLOUGH and DS KAREEM LARRIMORE all earned rookie honors. Carver recorded 16 tackles, added 2.5 sacks and picked off two passes. McCullough led Dallas with 836 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns, while Larrimore had 24.5 tackles, five passes defended and an interception.

San Jose SaberCats DS CLEVAN THOMAS, who also earned Rookie and Defensive Player of the Year honors, pulled off a rare double in making first-team All-Arena and All-Rookie.

Orlando Predators kicker NICK GATTO, who joined the Predators in Week Seven of the regular season, converted 22 of 30 extra points, while making eight of 20 field goal attempts.

Other players selected to the All-Rookie team include San Jose SaberCats FB/LB JAMES WILLIAMS, GRAND RAPIDS RAMPAGE OL/DL ISRAEL RAYBON, Georgia Force OL/DL JERMAINE SMITH, New Jersey Gladiator WR/DB DENNISON ROBINSON, Indiana Firebirds WR/DB BRETT BECH, and Chicago Rush OS ANTONIO CHATMAN.

In a rarity, the lack of significant playing time by any first-year quarterback led to no player being selected All-Rookie at that position.

Chatman finished the 2002 season with 2,666 all-purpose yards and scored 26 touchdowns. Robinson scored 14 touchdowns and had three interceptions in his first season, while Williams led the SaberCats in rushing (108 yards), added eight rushing touchdowns, and three quarterback sacks.

The AFL also announced the fifth edition of its All-Arena team. Created in 1998, the team recognizes the best two-way players in the league.

This year’s All-Ironman team is led by San Jose SaberCats WR/DB BARRY WAGNER and Los Angeles Avengers WR/LB GREG HOPKINS. Wagner, the most decorated player in Arena Football League history, was selected to the All-Ironman team for the fourth time in his career, while Hopkins was named for a third time. Both players were named to the league’s All-Arena team.

Making their second appearance on the All-Ironman team was Chicago Rush WR/DB DAMEON PORTER and Carolina Cobras WR/LB CORY FLEMING. Porter led the AFL in interceptions for a second consecutive year, while Fleming caught 18 TD passes and added two interceptions on defense for the Cobras.

Making their first appearance on the All-Ironman team were Arizona Rattlers WR/DB RANDY GATEWOOD, Indiana Firebirds OL/DL KYLE MOORE-BROWN, Arizona Rattlers OL/DL STACY EVANS, Los Angeles Avengers OL/DL TONY PLANTIN, Grand Rapids Rampage FB/LB CHRIS RYAN, Georgia Force FB/LB TRAVIS REECE, and New York Dragons WR/DB MIKE FURREY.

FB/LB: James Williams, San Jose
OL/DL: Shante Carver, Dallas
OL/DL: Israel Raybon, Grand Rapids
OL/DL: Jermaine Smith, Georgia
WR/LB: Andy McCullough, Dallas
WR/DB: Dennison Robinson, New Jersey
WR/DB: Brett Bech, Indiana
OS: Antonio Chatman, Chicago
DS: Clevan Thomas, San Jose
DS: Kareem Larrimore, Dallas
K: Nick Gatto, Orlando

WR/LB: Greg Hopkins, Los Angeles
WR/DB: Barry Wagner, San Jose
WR/DB: Dameon Porter, Chicago
WR/DB: Randy Gatewood, Arizona
OL/DL: Kyle Moore-Brown, Indiana
OL/DL: Stacy Evans, Arizona
OL/DL: Tony Plantin, Los Angeles
FB/LB: Chris Ryan, Grand Rapids
FB/LB: Travis Reece, Georgia
WR/DB: Mike Furrey, New York
WR/LB: Cory Fleming, Carolina

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from August 17, 2002

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