FIGHTERS SET THE FOUNDATION FOR CHAMPIONSHIP RUN

The Frisco Fighters had extreme confidence coming out of training camp in 2020. Despite being in their inaugural season, Fighters coaches felt great about the roster that emerged from camp. But with the COVID pandemic derailing the season, the Fighters never had an opportunity to see their team in a game situation against an opponent with a different jersey.

Nonetheless, the Fighters were quick to resign the bulk of the 2020 roster to bring back for a second go at their inaugural season. In all, the Fighters return 15 players from 2020 to make up THE FOUNDATION of the team moving forward. THE FOUNDATION, as the group has come to be known, includes a mix of youth and experience, and includes returners at every position group.

Quarterback

Jonathan Bane returns to the Fighters after he was set to be the starter in 2020 following a productive training camp. Bane is coming off of a 2019 season when he guided the Jacksonville Sharks of the NAL to the league championship. He is an indoor football veteran, having also played in the AFL for the Tampa Bay Storm and earning Offensive Player of the Year honors for the Richmond Raiders of the PIFL.

Running Back

DeMarcus Felton won the starting running back job in camp in 2020 and was poised to have a breakout season in his first year as a pro. The rookie from Texas Tech was productive in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense during his career, including playing a prominent role during a record-setting night when he scored two of the Red Raiders’ school-record eight touchdowns against Lamar.

Wide Receiver

Kavontae Turpin was electric during training camp with the Fighters, just as he was during his days at TCU. A kick returner and wide receiver, Turpin earned All-Big 12 honors during all three seasons at TCU, along with being named Freshman All-American by two different publications and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week or Special Teams Player of the Week numerous times during his collegiate career. As a junior he earned All-Big 12 status twice, first-team as an All-Purpose player and Honorable Mention as a wide receiver.

Like Turpin, Sam Bruce is diminutive in stature but loaded with athletic ability. The dynamic playmaker, the Under Armor All-American was rated 77th overall in his class by ESPN before choosing to sign with his hometown Miami Hurricanes, where he was Miami’s second-highest rated signee in his class. Bruce, who was once considered by some to be the most elusive player to ever come out of two-time national champion St. Thomas Aquinas, finished his collegiate career at Southeastern University.

Mark Munson is a Dallas-area native from Keller, TX. He played collegiately at Angelo State and then spent time with the Arizona Rattlers before earning a spot on the 2019 NAL championship Jacksonville Sharks roster where he caught passes from current Fighters quarterback Jonathan Bane.

Chris Sanders-McCollum spent time with the Tennessee Titans during the team’s 2018 training camp before playing professionally one season in the NAL with the Columbus Lions. Prior to his professional days, Sanders-McCollum had a productive career at Tennessee State University where he appeared in 41 games and accumulated 1,017 yards on 56 receptions with eight touchdowns.

Offensive Line

Damian Love emerged from training camp as the Fighters’ starting center. The indoor football veteran earned Second Team All-IFL honors and a United Bowl championship ring with the Arizona Rattlers in 2017. He also spent time with the Arena Football League’s Albany Empire in 2018 and 2019, with a stint with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes in between. Love was an All-SWAC First Team selection on the offensive line during his senior season for the Alabama State Hornets and was named First Team All-SWAC and Honorable Mention All-American by Boxtorow as a junior.

Chris Taylor also owns a United Bowl championship ring after helping lead the Sioux Falls Storm to the championship in 2019. Prior to his days in the IFL, Taylor spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers during their 2017 rookie minicamp. Collegiately, Taylor started 42 of his 48 career games at Tulane, including 39 consecutive starts. Taylor was also invited to the 2017 College Gridiron Showcase & Symposium.

Jocquell Johnson was a member of the 2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll while at Mississippi State, where he played in 19 games in two seasons. He arrived at Mississippi State after transferring from Copiah-Lincoln where he helped lead Co-Lin to the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Championship. Johnson also took part in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic during his senior year in high school.

Tyrone Patterson suffered a knee injury during training camp that derailed his first season with the Fighters. The former Tennessee-Martin standout was also a junior college star, having earned All-MACJC (Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges) honors at Jones County Community College.

Defensive Line

Rodney Jackson is a two-time national champion and a three-time conference champion, Jackson led the nation in field goal blocks as a senior in 2018 at Grambling State University. Following his senior season, Jackson was invited to several postseason all-star games. Jackson was featured on the Netflix series Last Chance U. while at East Mississippi Community College. During the 2016 season at EMCC, Jackson had 30 sacks and won a national championship with the EMCC Lions.

Linebacker

Kahlil Williams earned the starting nod at Jack Linebacker following training camp in 2020. The University of Houston graduate originally earned a spot on the Fighters’ training camp roster after an impressive performance at one of the team’s open tryouts. Williams led all defensive backs in the American Athletic Conference in tackles for loss (8.0) during his senior season, in which he was named Second Team All-AAC Conference and to Dave Campbell’s All-Texas Preseason Team.

Defensive Backs

IFL veteran J’Vontez “Snoop” Blackmon made a name for himself early in his IFL career, earning Defensive Player of the Week as a rookie with the Sioux Falls Storm in 2016. In that game Blackmon accounted for a team leading 14 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception, and two pass breakups. He spent three seasons with Sioux Falls, winning one United Bowl championship and playing in three IFL championship games.

Joel Dullary is another player who made the Fighters roster following an impressive performance during the Fighters’ final tryout camp prior to 2020 training camp. Dullary played collegiately at Nicholls State where he helped his team win the Southland Conference championship in 2018 as a defensive back and return specialist. During camp he quickly proved to be one of the team’s top defensive backs.

Kicker

Kristov Martinez played in 52 games in his four-year Texas A&M-Commerce career where he set numerous school, conference, and NCAA records. He finished his career as the leading scorer among kickers in Division II history with 449 points scored, averaging 8.6 points per game. He finished his career as the leading scorer in Lone Star Conference and A&M-Commerce history. Martinez was a seven-time All-American, four-time All-Region selection, a four-time All-Conference selection, 2018 First Team Academic All-America, 2018 LSC Academic Player of the Year, an Academic All-District selection, and a three-time Academic All-LSC selection. At A&M-Commerce he was a member of two LSC Championship teams and the 2017 National Championship team.