Former Red Raiders In World League|
April 3, 1998
Over 35 players with ties to colleges in the Southwest, including three forrmer Texas Tech Red Raiders grace the rosters of NFL Europe League teams as the spring professional circuit kicks off its eighth season this weekend. FOX Sports Net will provide season-long national television coverage with the premiere of the NFL EUROPE LEAGUE GAME OF THE WEEK on 10 consecutive Sunday nights.
Formerly the World League, the NFL Europe League features American-style football based exclusively in Europe. Recognized for its high caliber of play, the league includes nearly 100 NFL-allocated players on six teams in five countries: the Amsterdam Admirals, Barcelona Dragons, England Monarchs, Frankfurt Galaxy, Rhein Fire and Scottish Claymores.
Former Rice University quarterback Josh LaRocca headlines the list of players from the Southwest also that includes several stars who honed their skills in the Big 12, Southland, SEC and WAC. LaRocca, a member of the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, currently is battling Baltimore Ravens quarterback Wally Richardson for the starting job with the England Monarchs.
The University of Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin top the chart of Southwest schools with four former players each, followed by Texas Tech and Rice with three a piece. Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, TCU, New Mexico State and McNeese State each have two alumni playing in the NFL Europe League.
Jim Ritchey, who passed for 5,300 yards and threw 42 touchdowns during a stellar four-year career at Stephen F. Austin, will lead the defending World Bowl champion Barcelona Dragons against 1996 World Bowl winners Scottish Claymores in this week's first televised game. FOX Sports Southwest will provide same-day taped coverage of the season-opener on Sunday, April 5 at 6:00 PM CT. Former Oklahoma cornerback Anthony Fogle and defensive end Larry Jackson (Texas A&M) will join Ritchey and running back Reggie Brooks, who was a 1,000-yard rusher for the Washington Redskins in his rookie NFL season in 1993, on the Barcelona team.
Other Southwest college marquee players include former Texas Tech starting quarterback Robert Hall, who also quarterbacked Dallas Carter High School to the Class 5A state championship in 1988. He has switched to wide receiver for the Amsterdam Admirals. Also featured are England Monarchs running back Shon Mitchell (Texas), fullback Oscar Gray (Arkansas), wide receiver Reggie Jones (LSU), and linebacker Norman Watkins (Texas); Amsterdam Admirals defensive lineman Roosevelt Collins (TCU); and Scottish Claymores linebacker Emmett Waldron (Rice).
The 1998 season marks the fourth year broadcast sister network FOX Sports has been a partner with the NFL in the NFL Europe League joint venture. For the third consecutive year, FOX Sports will televise the World Bowl live on Sunday, June 14 at noon CT from Frankfurt, Germany. In addition, DirectTV returns for another year of NFL Europe League coverage, televising two games each week throughout the regular season. Rounding out the U.S. coverage are FOX cable outlets FOX Sports World and FOX Sports Americas, who also offer delayed game of the week telecast packages.
As a complement to its weekly telecast schedule, FOX Sport Net also provides the latest NFL news from home and abroad with the "NFL Europe Halftime Show," hosted by FOX SPORTS NEWS anchor Van Earl Wright and FOX SPORTS NEWS NFL studio analyst and former Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Jackie Slater.
Handling the play-by-play duties for FOX Sports Net telecasts this year is Paul Kennedy, who called the action for the 1997 NFL Europe League season on FX and for the NFL on FOX while announcing Conference USA football on FOX Sports Net last fall. Joining Kennedy in the broadcast booth throughout the season are NFL on FOX analysts Ray Bentley, a former Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, and Trevor Matich, a 12-year NFL veteran who rounded out his career in 1996 with the Washington Redskins. NFL on FOX analyst Bill Maas, a former defensive lineman with the Kansas City Chiefs and co-host of FOX Sports Net's NFL studio show, HARDCORE FOOTBALL, also serves as an analyst on select NFL Europe League telecasts. Brian Baldinger, a former offensive lineman with the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles who worked with Kennedy on Conference USA games, rounds out the analyst team.
NFL EUROPE LEAGUE PLAYERS WHO ATTENDED SOUTHWEST COLLEGES Name POS NFL Europe Team College Shawn Banks LB Frankfurt Galaxy Texas Tech Harold Bishop TE Rhein Fire LSU Vince Bradford LB Rhein Fire Arkansas Sedric Clark LB Frankfurt Galaxy Tulsa Roosevelt Collins DL Amsterdam Admirals TCU Kotto Cotton WR Barcelona Dragons Arkansas Terence Davis WR England Monarchs McNeese St. Tim Denton CB Rhein Fire Sam Houston St. Greg Evans CB Frankfurt Galaxy TCU Jerod Fiebiger TE England Monarchs Texas Tech Anthony Fogle CB Barcelona Dragons Oklahoma Stefan Gamlin DT Frankfurt Galaxy Arkansas St. Oscar Gray FB England Monarchs Arkansas Geof Greiner RB Frankfurt Galaxy Oklahoma St. Robert Hall WR Amsterdam Admirals Texas Tech Alonzo Hampton DB Frankfurt Galaxy Northeast La. Ed Howard WR England Monarchs Rice Ernest Hunter RB Barcelona Dragons SE Oklahoma Larry Jackson DE Barcelona Dragons Texas A&M Reggie Jones WR England Monarchs LSU Richard Jones CB Rhein Fire Texas A&M Joseph Kerry S/QB Rhein Fire McNeese State Brannon Kidd G England Monarchs SMU Josh LaRocca QB England Monarchs Rice Sam Manuel LB Scottish Claymores New Mexico St. Sean Manuel TE England Monarchs New Mexico St. Jason Martin QB Barcelona Dragons Louisiana Tech Corey Mayfield DE Barcelona Dragons Oklahoma George McCullough CB Barcelona Dragons Baylor Shon Mitchell RB England Monarchs Texas Octus Polk G England Monarchs Stephen F. Austin Jim Ritchey QB Barcelona Dragons Stephen F. Austin Earl Scott OL Amsterdam Admirals Arkansas Emmett Waldron LB Scottish Claymores Rice Craig Warren T England Monarchs Stephen F. Austin Norman Watkins LB England Monarchs Texas Joey Wylie G Barcelona Dragons Stephen F. Austin