Rampage ink two big Buckeyes
The Grand Rapids Rampage continue to get big up front with the signing of Winfield Garnett and Eric Gohlstin; a pair of 6'6" 320-pound linemen from Ohio State.
Last season both players started all 16 games for the Philadelphia Soul in an offense that allowed just ten sacks (sixth least in the AFL). By contrast, the Rampage gave up the most sacks in the league last season with 29.
"Linemen are extremely vital to the success of an Arena Football team," said Rampage head coach Sparky McEwen. "They don't get enough praise or credit for their role in this game."
During the 2005 season, Garnett posted 11.5 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. Prior to his Arena career, he played in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars. He was named to the 2001 All-NFL Europe team after posting eight sacks with the Amsterdam Admirals.
"Garnett is a ferocious pass rusher and is extremely solid on offense which made him highly sought-after in free agency," McEwen said. "He will provide pressure up front that will help a Stan Davis-run defense dominate."
Gohlstin, a former All-Big Ten selection at Ohio State, played for the Rampage in 2003 before joining the Philadelphia Soul as a free agent in 2004. Last season he recorded 11.0 stops, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble. In addition to his defensive prowess, Gohlstin is considered one of the premier centers in the game.
"We had a rash of injuries at the center position last season - we went through seven of them," added McEwen. "When we were trading Chris Jackson, we were looking to get a starting center, but there were no takers due to the vital importance of this position."
"Eric is a great protector and one of the best centers in the game," McEwen commented on Gohlstin. "He can also provide pressure in the middle to plug up the line and stop short runs. This is a major pickup for us."
In addition to the signing of Garnett and Gohlstin, the Rampage have added linemen Alex Bell, Whitney Bell, Oscar Grajeda, Reggie Hargrove and Bryant Shaw. Linemen previously under contract include Bruce Adrine, Colin Bryant, Jon Hall and Teto Simpson.
Rampage 2006 season tickets are now on sale. To reserve your season tickets for hard-hitting, high scoring, non-stop Rampage football on Centennial Wireless Field at Van Andel Arena, call the Rampage offices at 1.888.595.4878 or log on to RampageFootball.com.
The 20th season of Arena Football and fourth on NBC kicks off the weekend of Sunday, January 29, 2006. Tune in on WOOD-TV channel 8 in the Grand Rapids area all season long for the Rampage's drive to ArenaBowl XX.
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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from October 18, 2005
- Gladiators sign former NFL defensive lineman Alonzo Spellman - Las Vegas Gladiators
- Rush signs former Bear QB Austin, former Irish WR Jenkins - Chicago Rush
- Storm Sign Free Agent WR/DB Bobby Sippio - Tampa Bay Storm
- ArenaBowl XX to be played in Las Vegas - AFL I
- Rampage ink two big Buckeyes - Grand Rapids Rampage
- Wranglers sign nine free agents - Austin Wranglers
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