Courtesy: Washington Valor Media Relations
Washington adds depth at offensive line, defensive line, wide receiver and kicker
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Valor announced today the signings of seven players, including a pair of returning starters: wide receiver Josh Reese and kicker Pat Clarke. Offensive linemen Kasimili Uitalia and DJ Brandel, wide receivers D’Mauri Jones and Phillip Barnett and defensive lineman Leon Mackey have also been added to the team’s training camp roster.
Reese, a two-year AFL veteran, has played his entire career with the Valor. In 2018, he registered season-long career highs in receptions (67), receiving yards (750) and receiving touchdowns (10). He also set single-game career highs with 10 receptions and three receiving touchdowns against the Philadelphia Soul in Week 3. Reese’s impact continued into the postseason where he registered 6+ receptions and 50+ receiving yards in both Game 2 of the AFL Semifinals and ArenaBowl XXXI. Before his AFL career, Reese made training camp appearances with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015. Reese played college football at the University of Central Florida, where he was named a team captain during his 2014 senior season.
Clarke, a native of Newcastle, Delaware and graduate of the University at Buffalo, joins the Valor for his second season in Washington and fourth in the AFL. In ArenaBowl XXXI, Clarke set career highs in extra points made (9) and extra points attempted (10). In 2017, Clarke made 74-of-83 extra points attempts, earning Second Team All-Arena honors.
“Josh Reese and Pat Clarke were a big part of what we accomplished last season,” Valor Head Coach Benji McDowell said. “We know what they bring to the table and we are happy to have them back in the fold this season. We have a nice group of returning players that will help set the tone for some of the new faces.”
Brandel, a graduate of Chapman University, last appeared in the AFL in 2016, when he was named Second Team All-Arena in his second season with the Cleveland Gladiators. Prior to joining the AFL, Brandel spent one season with the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution in 2014.
Uitalia begins his rookie AFL season after playing two years at Western Michigan University that included an 18-game starting streak, including all 13 games of his junior season. Prior to enrolling at Western Michigan, Uitalia was a standout presence on the offensive line at Los Angeles Valley College.
Jones spent 2018 with the Richmond Roughriders of the American Arena League, where he played alongside Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson. Jones grew up in Leesburg, Florida and won a state championship at Leesburg High School before enrolling at the University of Miami, where he spent three seasons playing wideout and contributing to special teams.
Mackey enters his fourth season in the AFL, last appearing in the league in 2016 with the Arizona Rattlers. Mackey, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, attended Hargrave Military Academy before spending two years at Texas Tech, where he recorded 34 total tackles in 22 games.
Barnett, a three-year veteran of the AFL, last appeared with the Cleveland Gladiators in 2016 after two years with the Tampa Bay Storm, totaling 1,048 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns in his career. Barnett grew up in Middletown, Ohio and attended the University of Toledo.