Columbus Lions sign former Bi-City stars Jarmon Fortson (Carver High) and Earl Alexander (Central-Phenix City)

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 24, 2012 

The Columbus Lions of the Professional Indoor Football League announced the signings of former Bi-City stars Jarmon Fortson (Carver High) and Earl Alexander (Central-Phenix City) at a news conference Monday evening.

Alexander, a 6-foot-4, 207-pound wide receiver had 23 receptions for 303 yards while playing for Alabama, where he won a national title in 2009. In his senior season at Central, he accounted for more than 1,700 yards of total offense and 17 touchdowns.

Forston split his time in college between Florida State and North Alabama. In high school, he received Georgia High School Association Class AAA All-State honors and recorded 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns receiving as a senior.

In the 2009 season with the Seminoles, Fortson had 45 receptions for 610 yards and four touchdowns. Including his time at North Alabama, Fortson totaled 85 receptions for 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns in his college career.

Both said they are thankful for the opportunity to continue their football careers with the Lions.

"It's a dream come true," Fortson said. "I can't explain how I'm feeling inside. I'm just ready to play football."

"It's a great opportunity for me," Alexander added.

Alexander and Fortson bring versatility to the team, Lions coach Jason Gibson said.

Alexander spent most of his time as a quarterback for the Red Devils, and Fortson has experience at linebacker as well. Fortson said defense is a major focus for him now.

"The fact they can play other positions is huge," Gibson said. "We can carry an extra wide receiver here without wasting a roster spot, because they can play another position."

Also in attendance at the news conference were returning Lions wide receivers London Crawford and Maurice Dupree. Crawford was the offensive rookie of the year for the league, snagging 103 receptions last season, and Dupree had 40 touchdowns in 12 games to win offensive MVP.

Crawford said the additions of Alexander and Fortson make it a more complete receiving corps.

"I think these guys coming in are going to be the best thing for us to be able to finish it off this season," Crawford said.

The Lions start their season March 10 against the Knoxville Night Hawks in the Columbus Civic Center.

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