Detroit Fury Add Size and Speed to Roster
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -The Detroit Fury of the Arena Football League signed five players for the upcoming 2004 season - rookies Bashir Yamini (OS/WR/LB), Carl Morris (OS/WR/LB), Khori Ivy (OS/WR/LB), Antoine Simpson (OL/DL), and last season's "emergency" quarterback Ken Mastrole. All five have professional football experience in the NFL and will compete to make their AFL debuts in 2004.
Yamini, a 6'4" 218 lb. receiver from the University of Iowa, comes to Detroit after one-year stints with the Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers. Originally a track star, Yamini brings speed and a great jumping ability (26'8" long jump, 45'2" triple jump) to the Fury. While at Iowa, Yamini won several track honors, including tying a Big Ten long-jump mark held by Olympian Jesse Owens since 1935.
Morris (6'3" 215 lbs.) will make his AFL debut after spending training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003. Morris is the first Ivy League player (Harvard, 2001) to ever sign with the Fury. He holds eight Crimson records, including career records for receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, and single game records for receptions and receiving yards.
Ivy (6'3" 210 lbs) comes to Detroit after spending the 2001-2003 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ivy was released in training camp prior to the start of the season. A three-year player at West Virginia, Ivy finished his collegiate career third on the school's all-time records for career receptions and second in receiving yards.
"Ivy has been productive everywhere he has been and also fits the mold we are looking for in our receivers," said Fury Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Tom Luginbill. "He has great hands, runs great routes and is a competitor when the ball is in the air. Yamini will be one of the faster, big receivers we'll have with us. He is a great leaper and should create great one-on-one match ups. Morris is a big, physical player who knows how to use his body. He can also catch the ball in traffic and above his head, which is what we are looking for. With his Harvard experience, he will also keep our team GPA high."
The Fury also signed OL/DL Antoine Simpson. Simpson spent two years in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers before signing with Detroit. A natural defensive lineman at 6'3" and 315 lbs., Simpson will look to bring a strong pass rush to the middle of the Fury's line.
"Simpson has a lot of experience and can also play center," said Luginbill. "We are always looking at centers and particularly ones who are defensive lineman. Simpson will be our only true AFL rookie defensive lineman in camp."
Ken Mastrole (6'3" 220 lbs.) will return to the Fury for his second season in 2004. Mastrole served as the Fury's third and "emergency" quarterback in 2003 but never saw playing time. He returns to the Fury after playing one season with the Florida Firecats of af2. Mastrole competed in training camp for the number three quarterback spot with the Chicago Bears in 2002. As a part of the Fury in 2004, Mastrole will have the opportunity to compete for the backup spot behind current starter Andy Kelly.
"Mastrole was our third quarterback last year and did a good job," said Luginbill. "We were really pleased to see him go down to af2 and improve himself. He played well and has earned the right to compete to be our number two quarterback and push Andy on a day-to-day basis."
The Fury will return for their fourth season of Arena Football League action at The Palace of Auburn Hills in February 2004. Season tickets for the Fury can be purchased by calling (248) 377-0100, and additional information can be found at www.detroitfury.com.
• Discuss this story on the Arena Football League (1987-2008) message board...
Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from November 13, 2003
- AFL to Play at UT's Erwin Center - AFL I
- L.A. Avengers re-sign three of their own free agents - Los Angeles Avengers
- Crush Signs QB Jose Davis - Colorado Crush
- Philadelphia Soul Add Six Players to Roster - Philadelphia Soul
- Detroit Fury Add Size and Speed to Roster - Detroit Fury
- Georgia Force Signs Nine from NFL to AFL - Georgia Force
- Rampage Re-Sign Hodge - Add Two AFL Veterans - Grand Rapids Rampage
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.