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Sharks Ink Former NFL Receiver Mardy Gilyard

October 31, 2013 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Jacksonville Sharks News Release

JACKSONVILLE - The 2013 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Thursday that the team has added a receiver with National Football League experience, as Mardy Gilyard has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a one-year rookie contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Though the 26-year-old Gilyard (5'11", 195) is new to the Arena Football League, he brings extensive professional football experience to Jacksonville. Drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round (No. 99 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, Gilyard has logged stints with four different NFL organizations over the course of the last four seasons. He got his most significant playing time with the Rams in 2010, returning 16 kickoffs for a total of 356 yards in 11 games with the team. Gilyard also saw game action with both the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. In addition, Gilyard worked with the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the 2013 NFL season.

For his NFL career, Gilyard has totaled eight receptions for 78 yards. Most recently, he signed with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes earlier this month, but was released from the team's practice roster on October 24.

Before turning pro, Gilyard starred at the University of Cincinnati, where he was named to the All-Big East First Team and selected as Big East Special Teams Player of the Year after both his junior and senior seasons. As a senior in 2009, Gilyard racked up 87 receptions for 1,191 yards and 11 touchdowns, adding two kick return touchdowns and one punt return touchdown as well. Gilyard capped that impressive senior season by earning Offensive Player of the Game honors in the 2010 Senior Bowl, catching five passes for 103 yards and a touchdown in that game.

In 2008, Gilyard set a UC single-season receiving record with 1,276 yards on his 81 catches, scoring 11 touchdowns through the air in the process. He also excelled as a kick returner, scoring two touchdowns while leading the Big East with an average of 28.0 yards per runback. Gilyard also totaled 36 receptions for 536 yards and three touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore in 2007.

A Florida native, Gilyard was a First-team Class 5A all-state selection at Flagler Palm Coast High School, where he totaled 2,500 yards and three touchdowns during his prep career. Gilyard also excelled in track and field, earning three all-league and all-state selections.

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