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Rattlers Re-Sign D'Avanzo and Pearson for 2022

November 5, 2021 - Indoor Football League (IFL) - Arizona Rattlers News Release

PHOENIX - Two key members of the Arizona Rattlers defensive unit, lineman Nikolaus D'Avanzo and defensive back Tyrell Pearson, have re-signed with the team for the 2022 Indoor Football League season.

DL Nikolaus D'Avanzo (6'3, 285, University of New Mexico) will be returning for his third season with the Rattlers. A terror in opponent's backfields, D'Avanzo earned 1st Team All-IFL honors while racking up 53 total tackles, three blocks, one safety and finishing second in the league with 8 sacks. D'Avanzo's 16 TFLs led the team and were nearly twice that of the player with the second-most.

Especially dominant in the 2021 postseason, D'Avanzo posted 11 solo tackles, 17 total takedowns, two TFLs, one sack and a quarterback hit in the Rattlers' three home playoff games. During the United Bowl vs. Massachusetts, D'Avanzo had 6 solo tackles, 7 total stops, one TFL and a thrilling return of a blocked field goal, which allowed the Rattlers to tie the score in the final minutes.

Prior to joining the Rattlers, D'Avanzo spent 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings and four years at the University of New Mexico. He is now one of the most impactful players on the Rattlers defense in his two years in Arizona. In his rookie season of 2019, he was a 1st Team All-IFL selection, leading the team with 14 TFLs and finishing in the top five of the league, recording 5.5 sacks.

D'Avanzo played four years at the University of New Mexico gaining 198 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries in 49 games.

DB Tyrell Pearson (5'9, 175, University of South Alabama) will return to the Rattlers for his second season with the team and fourth in the IFL. Earning 2nd Team All-IFL honors in 2021, Pearson had a stellar debut season with the Rattlers, quickly becoming a fan favorite. Pearson posted 56 total tackles, 24 pass breakups, four interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

Pearson played two seasons for the Iowa Barnstormers before coming to Arizona. In 2019, he tied for the league lead in interceptions (six) and was an All-IFL first teamer. In 2018, Pearson broke up a pass in the end zone on the final play of the 2018 United Bowl, which gave the Barnstormers their first ever championship. Prior to, Pearson spent his rookie season with the Green Bay Blizzard.

The Greenville, South Carolina native spent two years at Mesa Community College (MCC), where he was given first-team all-Western States Football League honors after he recorded 39 tackles, eight interceptions and ten pass breakups before transferring to South Alabama. He then recorded 40 tackles, four interceptions and 11 pass breakups in a single season with the Jaguars.

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