Rampage Re-Sign Team MVP
Grand Rapids, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League announced today the re-signing of offensive specialist Steve Smith and wide receiver/defensive back Sean Riley. Smith signed a two-year deal, while Riley was inked for one year.
Smith (5-9, 174, Utah State), who was named team's MVP for the 2002 season, returns for his second Rampage campaign and third AFL season. Before suffering a season-ending ankle injury, the former Aggie played in 10 games for the Rampage, recording 72 catches for 872 yards and a team-high 26 touchdowns. During a five-game stretch in May (5/4-5/31), Smith amassed 52 receptions for 648 yards and a team record 20 touchdowns, earning AFL Co-Offensive Player of the Month honors. He also was named game MVP in three consecutive contests and tied a franchise record for receiving touchdowns in a game (5) during that stretch.
Prior to joining the Rampage, Smith played in one game with the Buffalo Destroyers in 2001, recording six catches for 62 yard and a touchdown. He also spent time with the XFL's Birmingham Thunderbolts (2001), IFL's Flint Flames (2000) and Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts (1998). As a senior at Utah State, Smith received All-American honors as a return specialist and was named the team's Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year.
"Steve Smith showed last season that he has the ability to become one of the best receivers in the AFL," said Michael Trigg, Rampage head coach and director of football operations. "We have worked closely with Steve to get him healthy this offseason, and he has decided to stay with us for two years and make Grand Rapids his home."
Riley (5-9, 170, Western Michigan), who was acquired by the Rampage less than one month ago in the AFL Expansion Draft, enters his fourth AFL season. After catching 53 passes for 604 yards and five touchdowns with the Milwaukee Mustangs in 2001, the former Western Michigan receiver was selected by the San Jose SaberCats in the 2001 Dispersal Draft, but never played a down for the ArenaBowl XVI champions. He was placed on San Jose's exempt list for the entire 2002 season when he opted to sign with the New York Giants. The speedy two-way threat recently attended Giants' training camp, but was released during the preseason. Prior to joining the Giants and SaberCats, Riley was a three-year starter with the Milwaukee Mustangs, ranking among the team's all-time receiving leaders.
"Sean may be the fastest player in the AFL. His ability to catch the ball downfield and run after the catch gives him the ability to score at any minute," Trigg said. "He also has tremendous coverage ability on the defensive side of the ball. His addition, along with Willis Marshall, will give the Rampage one of the toughest wide receiver/defensive back tandems in the league."
After opening the 2003 season with back-to-back road contests, the Rampage kick off their home schedule with a 3 p.m. NBC affair against the New York Dragons on Sunday, Feb. 16. Full season and mini-plan ticket packages are currently available by calling the Rampage office at 1-888-595-4878.
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