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Phantoms' Defensive Line a Camp Battle to Watch

February 13, 2018 - Champions Indoor Football (CIF) - Kansas City Phantoms News Release

Independence, Mo. - With the MVP on offense and the line that protected him all in place on offense, the Kansas City Phantoms know their quarterback will be protected. The defensive linemen the team has signed are ready to ensure opposing quarterbacks are nowhere near as comfortable.

"A defense depends on its defensive line," said Phantoms General Manager and Head Coach Meadow Lemon. "When the line gets to quarterbacks, it makes our secondary's life easier and allows us to get turnovers. With the guys we've signed, we'll have a heck of a competition in camp between guys that have proven they can push the pocket and make big plays happen."

Demetrios Walker (6'3", 265) started 17 career games as a Middle Tennessee Blue Raider. As a senior, he totaled 50 tackles, 7.5 of which went for a loss, led his team with five sacks, and earned second-team all-conference honors. He was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs and has played in NFL Europe (Rhein Fire), the CFL (Hamilton Tiger-Cats) and Arena Football League (Chicago Rush). The Kansas City local also played for the IFL's Kansas City Renegades.

Eric Banford (6'2", 278) was an All-NORCAL conference selection at community college before transferring to Western Carolina University, where he capped his senior season with 28 total tackles and led WCU's defensive line with five tackles for a loss. In his first season in the CIF last year with Duke City, he made 21 tackles (7.5 for a loss) in 7 games, and added a half a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick.

Harold Love III (6'3", 325) finished his collegiate career at Bethune-Cookman before joining the Arena Football League's Portland Thunder, CIF's Dodge City Law, and IFL's Spokane Empire in recent years. In 2017 with the Empire, Love made 36 tackles (6 for a loss), broke up two passes, and had one sack.

The veterans on the line will be challenged for their positions by four CIF rookies. Shaquille Prather (6'4", 240) completed his collegiate career at Eastern Kentucky University and will be competing both at defensive end and linebacker. Marty Everett (6'6", 330) was a standout defensive lineman who originally signed with North Carolina State in college. Mikquail Baskett (6'1", 320) had 83 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble for Lindsey Wilson College before turning pro this season. Finally, Jacob Elmore (6'4", 290) played offensive line at Dickinson State University in North Dakota and is converting to defensive line for the Phantoms. Phantoms training camp opens on February 22, 2018 at Epic Sports Lodge, 19310 E 50th Terrace, Independence, Missouri. The season kicks off on March 16 at 7:05 p.m. at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena against the Omaha Beef. Tickets are available at http://kcphantoms.com/.

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