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Courtesy: Albany Empire Media Relations


Albany Empire's 1st Franchise Signings

Courtesy: Albany Empire. Albany Empire’s 1st Franchise Signings, Monday, March 19, 2018.

ALBANY- The Albany Empire announce that Capital Region locals Jordan Canzeri and Wade Hansen have been assigned as the first players on the team roster.  Per League and team rules, terms are not disclosed.  The free agency signing period for the Arena Football League began at 7 a.m. today.

Jordan Canzeri will play the roles of wide receiver and kick returner. He attended Troy High School where he dominated in a run-heavy offense.  In his senior season at Troy High, he racked up over 2,000 rushing yards, at an impressive nine yards per carry and 33 total touchdowns.  His High School football career ended with a loss in the state championship game played at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.  He still holds the Troy High School record for rushing, touchdowns and multiple MVP awards.

Canzeri continued his football career by playing at the University of Iowa.  Playing sporadically in his first three seasons with the Hawkeyes, Canzeri broke out in his senior season in 2015.  This was Canzeri’s first year at Iowa as the team’s featured running back.  He led the Hawkeyes to the school’s first ever perfect season with a record of 12 wins and zero losses.  Playing in all 12 games, Canzeri ran for 984 yards with 13 total touchdowns.  Canzeri tied the school record for most touchdowns in a single game (4) and set the school record for most carries in a single game (43).  His senior season at Iowa came to an end with a loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

After graduating from Iowa, Canzeri was invited to try out for NFL camps with the Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, and Los Angeles Rams.  Unable to make it to the final roster, Canzeri continued to play football as a member of the Elecom Kobe Finies in Japan in 2016 and 2017.

“To get this opportunity to play for the Albany Empire, I feel truly blessed,” said Canzeri. “To be able to continue to play the sport that I love in front of family and friends is something that I will cherish and not take for granted.”

“To get this opportunity to play for the Albany Empire, I feel truly blessed,” said Canzeri. Click To Tweet

Wade Hansen, a Brunswick native, comes to the Albany Empire as an Offensive Lineman.  He played his high school football at Tamarac High as both an offensive and defensive lineman.  During his tenure, he was named to the Section 2 All-Star team.  After high school, Hansen played two seasons at RPI on the defensive line.  His sophomore season was capped off with second team all-league honors.  In 2013, Hansen transferred to Virginia Tech.  He began his time at Virginia Tech as a defensive tackle and switched to offensive line due to some injuries to his teammates.  He was moved into the starting lineup about halfway through his junior season and maintained his starter role from then all the way through his senior year.

Hansen’s final season at Virginia Tech was highlighted with wins over rival school, Virginia University and a trip to the Independence Bowl against Tulsa University.  Hansen was recognized by his coaching staff for his play and was awarded the team’s Wes Worsham award for going above and beyond expectations.  He was also awarded the Strength and Conditioning award for his hard work to maintain gameday shape.

After college, Hansen was invited to try out for the NFL camps of the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers.  He was signed to the Steelers training camp and battled all the way through the preseason to the final round of cuts, where he was released by the team.  In 2017, he was recruited by Canzeri to join him and play in Japan.  Hansen and Canzeri have been friends and teammates since the age of 10 and are looking forward to continued success together on the Albany Empire.

“This all gives me goosebumps,” said Hansen. “There is no greater feeling in the world then being home and playing football in front of your loved ones. I’ve known Jordan since I was a kid and I can’t wait to continue to play football with him.”

“This all gives me goosebumps,” said Hansen. Click To Tweet

“We found some great local talent at our open workout back in January,” said Rob Keefe, Head Coach of the Albany Empire. “Being a product of the open workout process myself, I fully believe in the system.  Having guys like Jordan and Wade assigned to our team from an open tryout further solidifies the legitimacy of an open workout.  Both young men have played collegiate football at the highest level and I know they are well prepared for the next level in professional football.  We want them to continue to progress and fulfill their full potentials, and what better way to do that than right at home here in Albany.”

“We found some great local talent at our open workout back in January,” said Rob Keefe, Head Coach of the Albany Empire. Click To Tweet

Don’t miss your opportunity to witness history as Arena Football returns to Albany!  Fans can secure their single game tickets for the Albany Empire’s inaugural game at TheAlbanyEmpire.com.  Also available are 2018 season tickets, flex packs, group outings and inaugural game family 4 packs at 518-533-2200 or at TheAlbanyEmpire.com!  Albany Empire 2018 Inaugural Season Presented By CDPHP.

About the Albany Empire
The Arena Football League’s newest franchise, the Albany Empire will begin play on April 14, 2018 at the Times Union Center. Season memberships for the inaugural 2018 season are on sale now.  For tickets, contact the Albany Empire sales department at (518) 533-2200 or by going to TheAlbanyEmpire.com.  Follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/TheAlbanyEmpire Twitter at twitter.com/Albany_Empire , and on Instagram at Instagram.com/Albany_Empire.

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