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Josh Blankenship assigned to Xplorers

November 23, 2005 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

SOUTHAVEN --- The Memphis Xplorers of the af2 announced today that the team has been assigned QB Josh Blankenship by the league office. Last season as a rookie, Blankenship threw 89 touchdown passes and just 10 interceptions for a Tulsa Talons team that went 11-5 and won the af2 West Division title. Blankenship is the ninth player to be assigned to the reigning ArenaCup champions.

"Over the years I have created a metric for evaluating the quarterback position," Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto said. "Josh Blankenship ranks near the top of all the quarterbacks that have passed through our system, including Cleo Lemon of the Miami Dolphins."

"He is a tremendous field general," Xplorers Director of Player Personnel Chris Bauer said. "We were shocked that no AFL teams chose to bring him into camp after the year he had last year. We feel that this sends a message to the rest of the league that we are not resting on our laurels."

Last season for the Talons, Blankenship completed 285 of 480 pass attempts (59.4 %) for 3,554 yards (222.1 yards/game), 89 touchdowns, only 10 interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 113.32. His touchdown pass total was tied for second most in af2 and his passer rating was sixth. Former Xplorer QB Brian Jones, who has signed with Las Vegas of the AFL for 2006, had the top rating at 123.1.

"He has the leadership and ability to be one of the best quarterbacks in af2," Barto added. "We are looking forward to having Josh here and leading us to another cup."

Blankenship, a 6-foot-2, 220 pound native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, finished his college career in 2002 at Division I-AA Eastern Washington after playing his first three years with the home-town University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane. He was the top passer in the Big Sky Conference in 2002, leading all quarterbacks in yards per game (294.8), yards (3243), touchdowns (30) and pass efficiency (145.3).

Blankenship was signed as a free agent by the Miami Dolphins in April of 2003, but was waived before the start of training camp later that summer.

Xplorers assignments to date:

Charles Allgood WR/DB 6-2 202 Adams State

Josh Blankenship QB 6-2 220 Western Washington

Jordan Brumbaugh OL/DL 6-4 262 Tuskegee University

Domonique Dunbar WR/DB 6-1 190 Louisville

Steven Rush WR/KR 5-10 205 Southwest Missouri State

Danny Triplett FB/LB 6-2 245 Northern Iowa

Ronald Tupea OL/DL 6-1 305 Utah State

Maurice Troutman OL/DL 6-3 264 Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Mark Weivoda OL/DL 6-2 295 Idaho State

The Memphis Xplorers...2005 ArenaCup Champions

The Xplorers will defend their Arena Cup Championship in 2006 and you can be in on the action. The season begins on April 1 at Tennessee Valley with the home opener on April 8 versus the Florida Firecats.

Season Tickets are available now and begin as low as $56. Don't miss all the action of the "50-Yard Indoor War." For season ticket information call the Xplorers office at 662-342-1755.

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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.

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