Storm exercises rookie options

Oct 31, 2016 Tampa Bay Storm

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Storm is pleased to announce that it has exercised the rookie options of 10 players heading into the 2017 Arena Football League season.

The list includes: Quarterback Pete Thomas, defensive backs Qua Cox, Dallas Jackson and Trey Wolfe, defensive linemen Monte Lewis and Torrey Davis, offensive linemen John Brown, Justin McCray and J.J. Unga, and kicker Delbert Alvarado.

“In just one season, these gentlemen have shown that they have the ability to produce at a high level,” said vice president of football operations Jeff Gooch. “We’re looking forward to the upcoming season to see if they can duplicate and surpass their rookie performances.”

Thomas (6-foot-5, 235 lbs., Louisiana-Monroe) begins his first season with the Storm and second in the AFL.  In 2016, he spent his rookie season with the L.A. KISS, starting in 6-of-12 games.  The San Diego native completed 167-of-295 passes for 2,086 yards, 43 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He rushed 14 times for two scores on the ground.

Cox (5-foot-11, 190 lbs., Jackson State) enters his second season with the Storm.  Cox started in 3-of-8 games for the Storm during his rookie season, recording 19.0 tackles and a pass breakup.  He began his professional career in 2014 with the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League when he signed with the team as an undrafted rookie free agent.

Jackson (5-foot-10, 190 lbs., Jacksonville University) joins the Storm for his first full season.  A late addition to the Storm roster in 2016, Jackson saw limited action on the field.  The Palmetto native played collegiately at Jacksonville University, earning All-Pioneer Football League honorable mention for his performance in his senior season when he tallied 47.0 tackles, four tackles for loss, five interceptions and three pass breakups.

Wolfe (5-foot-11, 193 lbs., Fort Valley State) enters his second season in the AFL and first with the Storm.  Wolfe spent his rookie season with the L.A. KISS in 2016, starting in his only appearance.  The former Fort Valley State Wildcat began his professional career with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 as an undrafted rookie free agent.  He was also a member of the Washington Redskins practice squad during the 2014 season and spent part of 2015 season with the team.

Lewis (6-foot-4, 265 lbs., Jacksonville State) enters his first season with the Storm and third in the AFL.  The Abbeville, Alabama native started in 6-of-10 games for the Orlando Predators in 2016, recording 7.0 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss and two blocked kicks.  He began his professional career in 2012 with the Washington Redskins.  He also spent time with the Ottawa REDBLACKS of the Canadian Football League.

Davis (6-foot-3, 320 lbs., Jacksonville State) enters his second season with the Storm.  The former Armwood H.S. (Seffner, FL) standout appeared in one game with the Storm last season.  The Seffner native began his collegiate career at the University of Florida before transferring to Jacksonville State.

Brown (6-foot-1, 285 lbs., Valdosta State) begins his second season with the Storm.  He started at fullback in 8-of-9 games for the Storm in 2016.  The Lakeland native rushed 10 times for 21 yards and two touchdowns.  He would also catch two passes for eight yards.

McCray (6-foot-3, 315 lbs., Central Florida) enters his first season with the Storm after spending his rookie year with the Orlando Predators.  The former UCF Knight started in 14-of-14 games for Orlando, seeing action on the offensive line and at the fullback position.  McCray rushed twice for four yards and caught four passes for 30 yards.

Unga (6-foot-6, 320 lbs., Midwestern State) enters his first season with the Storm and second in the AFL.  He started in 3-of-4 games with the KISS in 2016 on the offensive line.  Unga began his professional career in 2013 as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.  He also spent time with the Buffalo Bills.

Alvarado (5-foot-11, 205 lbs., South Florida) enters his second season with the Storm.  The Robinson H.S. (Tampa, FL) standout appeared in 10 games for the Storm in 2016, converting 49-of-55 extra point attempts.  The Tampa native played four seasons at South Florida, converting 97.8% of his extra point attempts, the best percentage in school history.