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Columbus Lions bios

þÿHEAD COACH

Jason Gibson

Gibson is entering his third season as head coach, and is coming off back-to-back 10-4 seasons. Two years ago, he took the Lions all the way to the WIFL championship game. He coached high school football in his native Maryland as well as in North Carolina and has coached professional football with the BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts (CFL), the Marburg Mercenaries (GFL Europe) and the AF2’s Greensboro Prowlers and Wilkes-Barre Pioneers.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR

Bryan Eason

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH

Mike Rozycki

DEFENSIVE LINE COACH

Fred Williams

TRAINER

Allison Abbott

QUARTERBACKS

Bill Ashburn

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 220

College: Louisville

Experience: Rookie

Misc: Served as back-up at Louisville, where most of his playing time came on special teams. May be most adaptable quarterback on roster.

Chris McCoy

Ht./Wt.: 5-11, 195

College: Navy

Experience: Started for Navy, in first season as pro.

Misc: Set NCAA records for quarterback rushing yards while at Navy, which stood until broken by West Virginia’s Pat White. Has knack for finding the end zone.

Kevin Huff

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 220

College: Tuskegee

Experience: Rookie

Misc: Has strongest arm of three quarterbacks, according to Lions coach Jason Gibson.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Monreko Crittenden

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 385

College: Auburn

Experience: Started three-years for Auburn, played for the Lions in 2007 and for part of 2008.

Misc: Spent part of last year with the AFL’s Los Angeles Avengers. Led an offensive line that took the Lions to the WIFL Championship in 2007. That squad led the league in rushing and allowed just eight sacks all season.

Branden Hall

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 330

College: Troy

Experience: Played 2007 season with AFL’s Los Angeles Avengers. He signed with the Lions for 2008 season but sat out with a knee injury. Like Crittenden, he spent half of the 2007 season with the Lions before signing with the Avengers.

Misc: One of three rookies to start all 18 games for the Avengers. The team earned a wild-card berth in 2007. He caught an 11-yard touchdown pass that season.

Bo May

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 280

College: Valdosta State

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Mike Berry

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 280

College: Texas Southern

Experience: Entering second season with Lions. Played in seven games last year.

Misc: NA

Darin Damron

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 295

College: North Alabama

Experience: Six years of professional experience. Played three games for Lions last year.

Misc: Finished with 2.5 sacks for Lions in three games last season.

Maurice Jones

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 240

College: South Florida

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

Franklin Lloyd

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 302

College: Troy

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Damian Daniels

Ht./Wt.: 5-10, 185

College: West Georgia

Experience: Third season with Lions, spent one season with the Columbus Vipers.

Misc: Daniels led the AIFA in interceptions the last two seasons and was Co-Defensive MVP in 2007. Earned first-team All-AIFA honors last season with a league-best 49.5 tackles and 12 interceptions.

Ramone Nickerson

Ht./Wt.: 5-10, 190

College: Tuskegee

Experience: Played for Lions in 2007, missed part of 2008 to finish his degree.

Misc: Had 10.5 tackles in five games last season as a defensive back and linebacker. Had 31 solo tackles and three interceptions in 2007.

Dexter Reid

Ht./Wt.: 5-11, 205

College: North Carolina

Experience:

Misc: Drafted in fourth round by New England Patriots. Won two Super Bowl rings - one with Patriots (2005) and one with Indianapolis Colts (2007). Has 44 tackles in NFL. Earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2002, when he finished second in country with 166 tackles. Named preseason All-American in 2003.

Keon Newson

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 194

College: Bowling Green

Experience: Two years professional play.

Misc: Had 11 interceptions last season, including three in one game against Florida.

Bruce Johnson

Ht./Wt.: 5-8. 195

College: James Madison

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

Chris Goffer

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 200

College: Youngstown State

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

LINEBACKERS

Justen Rivers

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 250

College: Eastern Kentucky

Experience: Third season with the Lions.

Misc: Led team in tackles in 2007. Last year, he led the team in fumble recoveries and had two interceptions, both for a touchdown.

Ryan Babb

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 215

College: Alabama

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

Maurice Simpkins

Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 237

College: South Florida

Experience: Three years pro

Misc: NA

RECEIVERS

Gerald Gales

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 185

College: West Georgia

Experience: Four years of pro experience.

Misc: Had 70 catches in 10 games for Lions last season. Finished with 876 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Tirone Morris

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 190

College: Florida A&M

Experience: Third year of pro play.

Misc: Missed most of the first half of the season in 2008, but finished strong with 30 catches for 394 yards and six touchdowns in the final five games of the season.

Chris Jackson

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 210

College: Millsaps

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

Jawarski Pollack

Ht./Wt.: 5-9, 180

College: North Carolina

Experience: Third season pro.

Misc: NA

FULLBACKS

Richard Fitzhugh

Ht./Wt.: 5-11, 225

College: Tuskegee

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

Leon Foster

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 268

College: Union

Experience: Rookie

Misc: NA

KICKERS

Hunter Smith

Ht./Wt.: 5-9, 175

College: Gardner-Webb

Experience: Second year with Lions.

Misc: Hit 62 percent of field goal attempts and 85 percent of point-after attempts for Lions in 2008. Hit game-winning field goal with no time left in game against Augusta last season for a 15-point game.

Carlos Martinez

Ht./Wt.: 5-8, 185

College: Buena Vista

Experience: Three years pro.

Misc: NA

SCHEDULE

March 14 at Carolina

March 22 vs. Carolina

March 28 at Florence

April 4 vs. Baltimore

April 11 at Harrisburg

April 18 vs. Washington D.C.

April 25 at Fayetteville

May 2 vs. Greenville

May 9 at Greenville

May 23 at Baltimore

May 30 vs. Florence

June 13 vs. Fayetteville

June 19 vs. Florence

June 27 at Carolina

PLAYOFFS

July 4-10 Divisional

July 11-24 Conference

July 25 Championship

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