Mario Urrutia Named AFL Rookie of the Year
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Blaze wide receiver Mario Urrutia has been named the 2013 NET10 Wireless Rookie of the Year, the Arena Football League announced Thursday evening. Urrutia is the first Utah Blaze player to receive the award in the franchise's seven-year history.
"Mario wasn't even a starter when we opened the season, but he stepped in with a business-like approach and made plays for us all season long," said Head Coach Ron James. "He has the savvy of a veteran receiver and is capable of changing a game on any given play. Mario certainly deserves this award and we're extremely proud of him."
Urrutia (6-5, 230, Louisville) enjoyed a sensational start to his AFL career, opening the 2013 season with eight consecutive multi-touchdown performances. He surpassed the 100-yard mark in eight games and led all rookie receivers in every statistical receiving category. Urrutia is the most productive first-year player in Blaze history, as he toppled previous franchise rookie records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
While playing in 17 games this season, Urrutia amassed 1,675 yards with 39 touchdowns on 142 receptions. He finished seventh in the AFL in scoring (13.9) and successfully converted eight two-point attempts - more than any other team combined. Urrutia concluded his inaugural campaign placing fifth amongst all AFL players in receptions and receiving yards, as well as sixth in receiving touchdowns.
"I'm honored to receive the Rookie of the Year award," Urrutia stated. "It wouldn't be possible without the help and support of my teammates and coaching staff. Winning this award was a goal of mine and I look forward to checking off a championship next season."
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