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Lightning Take Giant Step in Roster Building

December 22, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Stockton Lightning News Release

STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Lightning of the arenafootball2 league have announced QB Andy Collins and OL/DL Manuel Wright have been assigned to the Lightning by the af2 League Office.

Collins and Wright, former members of the New York Giants, have increased the Lightning roster to eight total players for the upcoming 2009 season. Wright was a member of the New York Giants team that won Super Bowl XLII in 2008, defeating the New England Patriots for their third Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

Collins joined the Lightning last season on May 29 and amassed 1,689 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns, a 60.3 completion percentage (146-for-242) and nine rushing touchdowns in just seven games played, helping guide Stockton to a 3-1 finish in the final four games of the regular season.

Collins, 25, began last season in the Arena Football League with the Los Angeles Avengers and Colorado Crush, adding duties on the defensive side at the jack linebacker position where he totaled 5.5 tackles between both teams.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound signal caller was a three-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference "Offensive Player of the Year" and threw for 491-of-745 (64.9 percent) for 6,394 yards and 71 touchdowns during his three-year career at Occidental College (NCAA) in Eagle Rock, Calif. While with the Tigers, he never lost a conference game (18-0), led Occidental on a 26-game regular-season winning streak and advanced to the NCAA Division III West Region final in 2004. He added an ability to rush the ball as well, totaling 349 yards on the ground and four scores as a 2006 senior.

After graduating from Zillah (Wash.) High School, where he was a member of the football, basketball and track & field teams, Collins spent his freshman season at the University of Oregon in 2003, before transferring to Occidental.

In the summer of 2007, Collins participated in NFL mini-camp workouts with the New York Giants.

Wright, 24, has two years of playing experience in the National Football League with New York (2007) and the Miami Dolphins (2005), posting four combined tackles. Wright totaled two tackles and one sack last season for the Giants.

Wright spent the last two years of his college football career with the national-power University of Southern California (NCAA), totaling 31 tackles and three sacks in two years (2003-04) while helping guide the Trojans to a 2003 National Championship with a victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

The Lightning open the 2009 af2 regular season on Sunday, March 29 against the Central Valley Coyotes with a Week One road matchup at Selland Arena, starting at 7:00 p.m. Both teams face a Week Four rematch in the Lightning home opener on Saturday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Stockton Arena.

Season tickets for the 2009 Lightning regular season are on sale now. For more information on season tickets, merchandise, or other information, please call the Lightning at (209) 373-1500 or visit www.stocktonlightning.com.

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