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Avengers sign five players on eve of mini-camp

January 28, 2008 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Los Angeles Avengers News Release

LOS ANGELES -- With mini-camp set to open tomorrow, the Los Angeles Avengers have signed wide receiver Jarrett Hicks, offensive lineman Matt McCutchan and defensive linemen Michael Cobbins, Ola Dagunduro and Ernest Hunter, head coach Ed Hodgkiss announced today.

Each of the five players signed three-year deals and will be among the 37 players participating in a three-day mini-camp (Jan. 29-31) at the Avenger Training Facility at West Los Angeles College in Culver City.

The Avengers also waived defensive lineman Reggie Rhodes (6-foot-4, 300 pounds, Valdosta State), who was with the team for the past two seasons.

Hicks (6-3, 210) played in 42 games during his four-year career at Texas Tech University (Lubbock, Tx.), catching 198 passes for 2,859 yards and 30 touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2004, his quarterback was current Avenger starter Sonny Cumbie. During that season, Hicks had a career-high 76 receptions for 1,177 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, earning All-Big 12 first-team honors.

He also was selected to the All-Big 12 first-team as a junior in 2005, after catching 65 passes for 850 yards and 10 scores.

McCutchan (6-2, 295) started 21 games at center for the University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.) over the course of two seasons. As a senior in 2005, he was selected as the Wildcats' "Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman."

McCutchan transferred to Kentucky after two seasons at the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.).

Cobbins (6-1, 265) was a three-time All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association first-team selection while playing at Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph, Mo.). As a senior in 2006, he helped the Griffons to their first NCAA Division II playoff appearance, finishing third on the team in total tackles (66), and second in both tackles for loss (13.5) and quarterback sacks (4.5).

Cobbins was an honorable mention All-America selection by d2football.com and the Football Gazette. He also was nominated for the "Gene Upshaw Award," which goes to the Division II lineman of the year.

Dagunduro (6-2, 315) recorded 53 tackles, 13 for losses (minus-46 yards) and 5.5 sacks in two seasons at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.). As a senior in 2006, he started all 14 games in the middle of the Cornhusker defensive line.

Before transferring to Nebraska, Dagunduro played two seasons at Compton (Calif.) College and attended Inglewood (Calif.) High School.

Hunter (6-3, 315) played in 40 games during his collegiate career at West Virginia University (Morgantown, W.Va.). He finished with 24 tackles, four for losses (minus-13 yards), 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.

Hunter got a brief taste of Arena Football last season, signing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers of arenafootball2.

This past season, the Avengers finished second in the Arena Football League's Western Division, compiling a 9-7 regular-season record before defeating the Utah Blaze, 64-42, at STAPLES Center to register the franchise's first postseason victory.

Avenger 2008 season tickets, which include nine games played at STAPLES Center, are on sale now at 1-888-AVENGERS or www.laavengers.com.

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