The Columbus Lions officially announced the re-signing of defensive back Damian Daniels, the team's three-time league defensive MVP, as well as former Central Michigan defensive back Kirkston Edwards.
Daniels announced in October that he would play the 2011 indoor football season with the AFL's Cleveland Gladiators. But he has decided to stay in Columbus and continue in his role as an assistant varsity football and basketball coach at Brookstone.
“When I started off, I wanted to jump-start my coaching career while I was still playing,” Daniels said. “But the whole time I was focused more on being a football player than a coach. Over time, and even since signing with Cleveland, those things have changed for me. I’m now trying to move forward more as a coach than as a football player.”
Daniels (5-10/175, West Georgia) was a key component in last year's Southern Indoor Football League championship run as he led the Lions in tackles (33.5) and led the league with 14 interceptions. Daniels, a former Shaw High standout, played four years with the Lions and has won league defensive MVP awards in the World Indoor Football League (2007), American Indoor Football Association (2009) and the SIFL (2010).
Edwards (6-1, 195) is the latest FBS signee for the Lions, who have signed former Georgia defensive end and linebacker Marcus Washington, former Florida defensive backs Wondy Pierre-Louis (6-1, 185) and Markihe Anderson (5-9, 180) and linebacker Dustin Doe (6-0, 235), former West Virginia wide receiver Dorrell Jalloh (6-0, 200) and former South Florida tight end Ben Busbee (6-4, 245).
“At the first day of training camp, we may have the most talented team on paper we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Daniels said. “I’m very excited to see what these new guys can bring to the table as well as what our veterans can do. Hopefully we can make another run at a championship.”
Edwards played in more than 50 games for Central Michigan and had 177 tackles.
“I had a first-hand look at Kirkston at the Orlando Predators tryout and was impressed,” Lions coach Jason Gibson said. “It’s rare to find a DB with his size and speed that is extremely physical, he has the potential to fit well into our system.”
The Lions being their championship defense with a game at the Huntsville Hammers on March 20 and open the home portion of the regular season against the Richmond Raiders at 4 p.m. on March 27 at the Civic Center.