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Former college standouts help Spokane Shock’s new roster take shape


By Ryan Collingwood
ryanc@spokesman.com
(509) 459-5473

The second coming of the Spokane Shock has been swift.

Since majority owner and ex-Seahawks star Sam Adams announced the team’s return on Nov. 1, the Shock – an Indoor Football League member that begins its season in March – has been signing players at a steady clip.

Ten have joined the reborn Shock franchise, which will be led by ex-Carolina Cobras coach Billy Back, the 2018 National Arena League Coach of the Year.

Forty will report to training camp, where the roster will be ultimately cut down to 25.

Adams, who has been active in arena and indoor football for roughly 15 years, said the roster taking shape already is among the best he’s seen: all-stars and record-breakers from the IFL and other leagues; former big-college football standouts with a taste of the NFL; and savvy veterans.

“We already have the best secondary and defensive line,” said Adams, who said he expects to sign up to several more former all-stars in the coming weeks. “And a quarterback (Charles McCullum) who is nearly the IFL’s all-time leading passer.

“We have the groceries. Now Billy has to make the cake.”

Here’s a look at the 2020 Spokane Shock’s first 10 signees, six coming from the Carolina Cobras along with Back.

Charles McCullum, quarterback: Among the best quarterbacks in IFL history, McCullum, a league MVP in 2017 and 2018 with the Wichita Nighthawks, has thrown for 11,942 career yards and is 1,021 yards shy of breaking Chris Dixon’s career passing mark.

He spent the the last two seasons with Carolina under Back, leading the Cobras to a NAL championship in 2018.

Jordan Jolly, wide receiver: Another former Carolina Cobra, Jolly has three MVP awards on his resume and has been one of the most dangerous pass catchers in the IFL and NAL the past few years. He had 31 touchdowns in 2018.

Josh Stewart, wide receiver: An All-Big 12 selection at Oklahoma State, Stewart was signed by the Tennessee Titans in 2017. He played indoor football in 2018 with the Oklahoma Flying Aces.

Steve Miller, defensive lineman: Miller started on Ohio State’s defensive front when the Buckeyes won a 2015 national championship before a short stint in the Canadian Football League. He also played for the Carolina Cobras last season, where he earned All-NAL distinction.

Bill Vavau, two-way lineman: The ex-Utah State defensive lineman was an All-NAL selection last season with the Carolina Cobras and started his professional career with the Colorado Crush in 2015.

Dave Lefotu, offensive lineman: Formerly of the Spokane Empire, Lefotu, an All-IFL selection in 2016, was also a starter at University of Hawaii.

Nick Woodman, defensive line: Woodman led the NAL in sacks (12.5) last season for the Jacksonville Sharks.

Seth Ellis, defensive back: Ellis, formerly of the Jacksonville Sharks, led the NAL in interceptions (13) in 2018.

Michael Green, defensive back: The ex-Carolina Cobra led the NAL in passes defensed (34) in 2018 and was third in the league in tackles (62) and interceptions (nine), also returning seven kicks. He’s a three-year all-league selection.

Cedric Poole, return specialist, defensive back: Poole averaged 18.3 yards per kick return for Carolina in 2018 and had 32 tackles.