Phoenix, Ariz. – The world champion Arizona Rattlers have been assigned defensive back AJ Cruz for the 2015 and 2016 Arena Football League (AFL) seasons. This will be Cruz’s second season in the AFL, first with the Arizona Rattlers.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Cruz spent the 2014 season with the Los Angeles KISS. While there, on defense, he acquired 20.5 total tackles and 1 pass breakup. Cruz was also known for returning kicks. He had 1,305 yards on 58 attempts for an impressive 22.5 average yards per return, which led the entire AFL.
Cruz attended Brown University where he was named a first-team FCS All-American in 2012. Cruz also earned first team All-Ivy honors for his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons, making him one of only 41 players in Ivy
League history to do so. In addition, Cruz earned second team All-Ivy honors his freshman year, the only freshman in history on defense to earn that honor.
The Lake Forest California native attended Santa Margarita Catholic High School, where he was a multi-sport athlete. There he was twice given All-Trinity League honors, and still holds the records for longest kickoff return for a touchdown (97 yards) and highest kickoff-return average (34 yards).
The Arizona Rattlers (1-0) will travel to Las Vegas to take on the Outlaws (0-1) for the first time in franchise history this Saturday, April 4th at 7:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.