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Mesa, Ariz. – The 2012 Arena Football League Rookie of the Year, Jared Perry, along with Second Team All-Arena honorees, offensive lineman Billy Eisenhardt and defensive lineman Jeremy Kellem, have been assigned to the Arizona Rattlers.
A 6’1″, 180 pound wide receiver, Perry made a statement in 2012 with the Chicago Rush with 133 receptions for 1,811 yards and 31 touchdowns. Perry’s 100.6 receiving yards per game ranked 10th in the AFL while his 1,811 receiving yards were fifth in the league, the second most all-time for a rookie. He also tallied ten 100-yard receiving games.
This marks the second consecutive season that the Rattlers have been assigned the Rookie of the Year, after Maurice Purify last year.
Perry was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles following the 2012 draft. He also spent time with the San Francisco 49ers.
Originally from La Marque, Texas, Perry spent four years at Missouri where he finished his career with 137 receptions, 1,838 yards and 13 touchdowns. His freshman year with the Tigers, Perry led all Big 12 freshmen with 37 receptions, 429 yards and three touchdowns. He earned honorable mention freshman All-American and was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team.
“We wanted someone who has the ability to stretch the field , something we were inconsistent with last year because of injuries, and we wanted to make sure we weren’t in that position again; Jared does that for us,” said Arizona Rattlers General Manager and Head Coach, Kevin Guy.
A two year AFL vet, Eisenhardt was a Second-Team All-Arena Offense selection last season for the Chicago Rush. Eisenhardt, 6’3″ and 305 pounds, started 16 games at center providing protection for an offense that set franchise records in both throwing yards and touchdowns.
Anchoring the offensive line, Eisenhardt stepped in as the long snapper early in the year boosting the team to finish fourth overall in extra point coverage.
Eisenhardt is a product of a Grand Valley State University team that won back-to-back National Championships in 2005-2006. A preseason All-American in 2007, he earned first team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in 2007 and second team All-Conference in 2006.
“We are big believers in building our team down the middle and with Kyle Young telling us that he was retiring from football it became a major position to fill. Billy is one of the better centers in the league and helps solidify that position for us,” said Guy.
Kellem, who earned Second Team All-Arena Defense honors in 2012, stands 5’9″ and 195 pounds. In his rookie season with the New Orleans VooDoo, Kellem led the team in tackles with 95.5, including 86 solo, putting him second among rookies and tenth overall in the league. He also ranked second among rookies in interceptions, with nine, and passes defended with 21.
A native of North Lauderdale, Florida, Kellem attended Middle Tennessee State where he was a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference player earning First Team honors his junior and senior seasons. Kellem was also named to the ESPN Academic All-American Second Team in 2010.
“Jeremy is a good, young defensive back that we can build around for the future,” said Guy. “This league is about getting stops and Jeremy is a guy who can come in and get some turnovers.”
Perry and Eisenhardt received two year assignments while Kellem’s is for three years.
“All three of these guys are the type of high character players that we want in our organization,” added Guy.
The Arizona Rattlers are the 2012 ArenaBowl XXV World Champions and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXV marked the Rattlers seventh appearance in the AFL Championship Game where they have earned Arena Bowl titles in 1994, 1997 and 2012. For 2013 season ticket information please call (602) 514-TDTD (8383) or visit www.azrattlers.com