AFL Announces Yearly Honors at Annual Awards Ceremony
CLEVELAND – At the 2014 AFL Awards Ceremony in Cleveland on Thursday, the Arena Football League announced the winners of its most coveted individual honors. Arizona Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila brought home a pair of awards, including the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Year and AFL MVP of the Year. San Jose SaberCats nose guard Jason Stewart earned Riddell Defensive Player of the Year honors, while Spokane Shock defensive back Terrance Sanders was recognized as the J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Year. Orlando Predators wide receiver Greg Carr finished off the player awards by earning NET10 Wireless Rookie of the Year honors.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR, AFL MVP OF THE YEAR
Davila (6-3, 220, Cincinnati) set a new single-season franchise record with 127 passing touchdowns in 2014, the second-highest total in AFL history. He also became the 10th player in pro football history to eclipse 500 passing touchdowns in a career and is the first and only player in the history of the sport to toss 100 or more touchdowns in five consecutive seasons. This is Davila’s first Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Year selection and his second AFL MVP award. He was also recognized as League MVP in 2011. He joins Arena Football Hall of Famer George LaFrance as the only players in League history to win multiple AFL MVP honors.
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Stewart (6-0, 315, Fresno State) led the SaberCats with a career-high 12.5 sacks in 2014. He also tallied 28.5 tackles, four pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and a safety. A two-time All-Arena selection this is Stewart’s first Riddell Defensive Player of the Year selection. He is the third consecutive San Jose defender to come away with the award, joining teammates Joe Sykes (2012) and Clevan Thomas (2013). It is the first time in League history that the Riddell Defensive Player of the Year has come from the same team in three consecutive seasons.
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE YEAR
Sanders (5-10, 180, Eastern Illinois) continued to carve his legacy as one of the game’s most electrifying kick return specialists in 2014, leading the League with 1,687 kickoff return yards and five combined kick return touchdowns. He also starred in the defensive secondary, collecting a team-high 11 interceptions to go along with 71 tackles and 16 pass breakups. This is Sanders first career J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Year selection. He has earned All-Arena honors each of the last three seasons.
NET10 WIRELESS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Carr (6-6, 230, Florida State) led all AFL rookies with 113 receptions for 1,435 yards, 36 touchdowns and six 100-yard performances in 2014. This is the ninth consecutive season a wide receiver has earned Rookie of the Year honors.
About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2014 season. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVII Saturday, August 23, 2014 on ESPN.