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Vipers Add Experience To Roster

December 5, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Alabama Vipers News Release

Huntsville, AL- The Tennessee Valley Vipers have announced they have been assigned former NFL and AFL player Eric Joyce. Joyce, who saw action with the Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins, and Arizona Cardinals, also played in NFL Europe with the Frankfurt Galaxy. He was also a part of the Nashville Kats for two years after playing this college football at Tennessee State University. "Eric is about as solid as they come as a football player. He is talented, smart, physical and has a great work ethic and is good locker room guy. He is the total package", said Vipers head coach Dean Cokinos.

The Vipers have also been assigned two other former Tennessee State University players, Jeremy Stephens and Richard Gayle. Stephens, who will be seeing his first action in arena football, is a game changing type player according to Cokinos, "I know Jeremy from his playing days at TSU. He is a very explosive player with the ability to change the game on one play and will give us another dimension in the return game." Gayle was part of the Nashville Kats practice squad last season after finishing the 2006 season with two catches for 72 yards and collecting six tackles for the Tigers.

Also joining the Vipers will be Rico Reese (offensive/defensive lineman), who was named First Team All-Southern Conference in 2005 for Western Carolina University and played last season for the Alabama Steeldogs, totaling 28 tackles and 7.5 sacks. "I am very excited to join an organization such as the Vipers. They have enjoyed a lot of success, hopefully we can keep that going," said Reese.

Two other additions to the 2008 squad will be Middle Tennessee State offensive lineman Willie Hall and Alabama State's Desmond Foster

Hall, who left school after his junior season after starting all 11 games for the Blue Raiders at left tackle, was named second-team All-Conference in the Sun Belt in 2005 and was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. "Willie is a big and talented offensive lineman who will solidify us up front. Right now it is a good fit for us and Willie, who was one of the premier offensive lineman in the country while he was at MTSU. Hopefully this will resurrect his career", said Cokinos. Foster, who played with current Viper Demetrius Derico at Alabama State, will also be seeing his first action in arena football, after leading the Hornets in kick return yardage in 2006 with 348 yards and one touchdown. He also totaled 49 tackles and intercepted one pass.

VIPERS TRYOUTS: The Vipers will hold open tryouts at the South Hall in the Von Braun Center Saturday December 15th at 10:00am. The pre-registration fee is $40 and will be $50 on the day of the tryouts. Tryouts will consist of the 40-yard dash, short shuttle, individual drills, and will be conducted on turf. For more information, please call the Vipers at 256-428-HISS (4487).

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