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Riders Add Weapons to Arsenal

February 12, 2003 - National Indoor Football League (NIFL) - Bismarck Roughriders News Release

Bismarck- February 12, 2003 - The Bismarck Roughriders of the National Indoor Football League have announced the signing of 3 more players for the upcoming season.

The first being Quarterback John Welsh. The 6' 1" 210lb Welsh played his college football for the University of Idaho. Welsh moved into the starting lineup for the Vandals midway through his freshman year and finished his career with 584 completions on 968 attempts (60.3%) for 7,401 and 55 touchdowns. In 2001 Welsh was an All-Sunbelt Conference honorable mention selection. During that season Welsh completed 183 of 284 passes (64.4%) for 2,215 yards and 18 touchdowns. Against Arizona in 2001 John threw for 349 yards on 28 of 46 attempts. As a junior in 2000 John was a All-Big West Conference second-team pick. He started every game, completing 251 of 399 passes (62.9%) for 3,171 yards and 22 touchdowns and ranked seventh in the nation with an average of 290.8 yars per game in total offense. Against West Virginia in 2000 John completed 35 of 50 passes for 349 yards and 2 scores.

Following his career with the Vandals John signed a contract with the New York Giants. John spent 2 months with the Giants before being released. John then signed with the Jacksonville Tomcats of Arenafootball2 and in his first game as a starter against the Tallahassee Thunder John was 22-34 for 256 yds and 9 touchdowns. John spent the 2003 pre-season with the Las Vegas Gladiators and the Las Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League.

The Riders also came to terms with Wide Receiver Chris Anderson. The 6' 3" 220lb Anderson played his college football for the University of Colorado. While with the Buffaloes Chris was an All Big 12 Honorable Mention selection.

Following his college career Chris moved on to the Carolina Rhinos of af2 where he caught 45 passes for 850 yards and 8 touchdowns. After one year in Carolina Anderson took his talents to the Jacksonville Tomcats of af2. In his one season with the Tomcats Chris caught 30 balls for 585 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Riders have also signed Wide Receiver Jamal Allen. The 5' 11" 170lb Allen played his college football for Division II Fort Lewis College. Jamal put up very good numbers and had an outstanding 4 year career at Fort Lewis. In 2002 Jamal racked up 80 receptions for 939 yards and 6 touchdowns. Allen was also named second team All Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. In 2001 Allen finished the season with 106 receptions for 1,086 yards and 7 touchdowns. The 106 receptions was tops in the NCAA and the 98.73 yards per game was 14th in the country. Allen also set school records for most catches in a game (18), most catches in a season (106), and was the first Fort Lewis receiver to post back to back 200 yd games. He was also named RMAC Offenisve Player of the Week 10/22/2001, Division II West Region Player of the Week 10/22/2001, Don Hansen's National Offensive Player of the Week that same week. In 2001 Allen was named First Team All RMAC, second Team All West Region Team.

For his career Jamal ranks first in Skyhawk history with 239 career receptions and is second in total yards with 2,640 yards.

"We are very excited to get all three of these very talented guys. These three guys were on the top of our wish list and I feel very lucky to have them all wearing our colors," Head Coach Luke Shafer. "I think we are well on our way to putting a very powerful team on the field both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. John, Chris and Jamal are defenitely going to be a big part of an exciting Roughrider offense," added Shafer.

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