With ArenaBowl XXVII right around the corner, set to kick-off tomorrow evening, I thought it was about time that we announced our 2014 Arena Football League award-winners. Just as the NFL does, the award-winners will be based off regular season performances (not postseason success).
Arena Football League MVP: Nick Davila, Rattlers QB
Offensive Player of the Year: Nick Davila, Rattlers QB
Defensive Player of the Year: Marrio Norman, Gladiators DB
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Year: Terrance Sanders, Shock DB/RS
Co-Rookies of the Year: Greg Carr, Predators WR/Nathan Stanley, SaberCats QB
Coach of the Year: Ron James, Pittsburgh Power
Top Players of ’14, by position:
Quarterback: Nick Davila, Arizona Rattlers
Fullback: Derrick Ross, Philadelphia Soul
Wide Receiver: Marco Thomas, Iowa Barnstormers
Offensive Lineman: Michael Huey, Arizona Rattlers
Defensive Lineman: Jason Stewart, San Jose SaberCats
Linebacker: Beau Bell, LA KISS
Defensive Back: Marrio Norman, Cleveland Gladiators
Kicker: Nich Pertuit, San Jose SaberCats
Davila: The two-time AFL MVP is looking to capture his third ArenaBowl championship with Arizona on Sunday. The First Team All-Arena QB led the arena league in total offensive touchdowns (128) and passing yards (4,778) this year.
Ross: Led the entire AFL in rushing attempts (151, yards (487) and touchdowns (36). The Soul FB was a First Team All-Arena selection.
Thomas: With Iowa, Marco led the AFL with 1,946 yards through the air, adding 39 touchdown catches to that––good for a tie for second in the league.
Huey: The First Team All-Arena selection, blocking for the league MVP Nick Davila and making an appearance in the ArenaBowl on Saturday, Huey is in just his third season but already has quite the resume as the Rattlers’ guard.
Stewart: The Arena Football League announced Stewart as their Defensive Player of the Year (he came up just short of winning our DPOY award), and was a First Team All-Arena selection. He recorded 12.5 sacks for the stout SaberCats defense as a nose guard this season.
Bell: In his first season with the expansion LA KISS franchise, the 28-year old Mac Linebacker recorded a career-high 12.5 sacks for the hapless KISS squad.
Norman: Though he won’t be competing with his Gladiators teammates tomorrow afternoon (he’s now in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, competing for a roster spot at CB), Norman had a very impressive 2014 campaign in 17 games: 95.5 total tackles, 12 interceptions and 19 pass breakups.
Pertuit: I almost wanted to pick Cleveland’s placekicker Aaron Pettrey, simply because of his numerous game-winning kicks. But San Jose’s Nich Pertuit (league-leading 155 points and 9-of-9 in FG attempts) was clearly the more efficient kicker for his ‘Cats squad in ’14.
Stay tuned for our ArenaBowl XXVII pick, it’ll be coming your way prior to tomorrow’s kick-off (8 P.M. ET)!!
Photo: Andy Lewis