Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Soul signs AFL Ironman DeJuan Alfonzo

The Philadelphia Soul have signed the 2010 AFL Ironman of the Year, DeJuan Alfonzo for the 2011 season.  During Alfonzo’s 2010 Ironman season with the Chicago Rush, he recorded 49 tackles, 15 assists, 12 pass break ups, one fumble recovery, four interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.

On the offensive side of the ball, he caught 28 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed nine times for 26 yards and four touchdowns.  Alfonzo was also the team’s holder on all extra points and field goals, and excelled on both the kick return and coverage teams.

“He is one of the all-time great arena football players, period,” said Soul head coach Mike Hohensee.  “DeJuan [Alfonzo] affects the game in all three phases, has revolutionized the way the Jack linebacker position is played, and has altered the design of offensive schemes across the Arena Football League.  I have a feeling Zo [Alfonzo] will become a fan favorite very quickly!”

“We are ecstatic to add such an elite player like DeJuan who is capable of solidifying our defense,” said Soul co-majority owner and current ESPN Monday Night Football broadcaster, Ron Jaworski.  “He brings championship-caliber leadership that will greatly increase our chances of returning to the ArenaBowl and bringing the title back to Philadelphia.”

After spending his first of eight AFL seasons with the Indiana Firebirds (2002), Alfonzo played his past seven under the direction of Hohensee with the Rush (2003-08, ’10).  He will also be joining five of his former Rush teammates in Philadelphia, Chris Martin (2010), Syvelle Newton (2010), Darnell Whitley (2010), Donovan Morgan (2008), and James Sadler (2007-08).

Over his AFL career, Alfonzo has recorded 379 tackles, 219 assists, 48 pass break ups, 11 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, 25 interceptions, and seven defensive touchdowns.  Offensively, he has amassed 135 receptions for 1,520 yards and 29 touchdowns, and 38 carries for 115 yards and 17 touchdowns.  He has returned 26 kicks for 183 yards and five touchdowns.  Alfonzo is a four-time All-Ironman Team selection (2006-08, ’10), and is a two-time First-Team All-Arena selection (2007-08).

The former Indiana State Sycamore defensive back was a First-Team All-American (1999), two-time All-Gateway Conference selection (1998-99), and four-time letter winner (1996-99) who also played in the 1999 All-Star Gridiron Classic.  Alfonzo finished his collegiate career with 191 tackles, 26 pass break ups, and 10 interceptions while setting school records in career blocked kicks (5), blocked kicks in a season (3 in 1997), and highest career punt return average (13.5 yards).

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