Eleven of the 15 players signed by the Kent Predators are projected to be defensive players.
Many of the signees from a Dec. 19 tryout are former college or semipro players.
The players were signed to invite to training camp in February for the professional Indoor Football League expansion team.
Kent co-owner Chris Kokalis announced the following signings, according to a Dec. 23 media release:
• Kevin Jones, defensive back: He had a brief stint in 2009 with the Tri-Cities Fever, formally of the AF2. He saw action in one game after signing late in the season. At Western Washington University, Jones was a standout defensive back. He was a star running back and defensive back at Kentwood High School.
• Keista “KJ” McCrae, linebacker: He played three seasons at Portland State University. In 2008 at PSU, he had 75 tackles, 12 of them for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.
• H. Mark Onibokun, defensive back: He was a member of the 2003 Boise State Broncos team that won the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl. He finished his collegiate career with 12 catches for 126 yards.
• Broderick Hutchins, defensive back: He has prior indoor football experience after playing in four games with the Milwaukee Bonecrushers of the Continental Indoor Football League in 2008. In two seasons as a defensive back at Concordia University from 2005-2006, he picked off 13 passes.
• Tony Grote, lineman: He played with the Tacoma Cobras in the Professional Developmental Football League and was named as the 2009 PDFL Offensive Lineman of the Year.
• Andre “Piper” Gordon, wide receiver: He played with the Renton Ravens in the Cascade Football League scored eight touchdowns during the 2009 season.
• Marcus Reed, running back: He played with the Tacoma Cobras and was named the 2009 Professional Developmental Football League Running back of the Year.
• Toby Smith, linebacker: He played with the Seattle Stallions in the Cascade Football League. He had 38 tackles, 9 for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 interceptions which he returned for touchdowns.
• Marcus Whittaker, safety: He is one of three former Tacoma Cobras signed by the Predators. The Cobras won the PDFL title.
• Damien Coaxum, running back: He is a bruising style runner out of the College of the Redwoods. During his final collegiate season in 2001 he ran for 559 yards on 102 carries with eight touchdowns. He also caught 35 passes for 599 yards.
• William McGee, running back: He joins former teammate Gordon from the Renton Ravens of the Cascade Football League. He was All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2009.
• Andrew Pina, lineman: As a member of the King County Jaguars of the North American Football League, he was selected to the 2008 Western Conference All-Star Team as an offensive Lineman.
• Jeremiah Captain, defensive back: After becoming a second team NAIA Heart of America Athletic Conference selection in 2005 for Benedictine College, he took his skills to the Northwest Football League with the Puget Sound Titans, where he earned first team all-league honors at defensive back.
Other signees include Blaine McConnell, a safety and receiver from the University of Idaho and linebacker Debenaire Nichols.
The Predators open the season Feb. 28 at Billings, Mont. Kent makes its home debut March 12 against the Fairbanks Grizzlies at the ShoWare Center.
The league started last spring with 19 teams and plans to field 26 teams in 2010. The league, based in Richmond, Va., was created in 2008 with the merger of the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football.
The Predators plan to hold more tryouts in January in an effort to form a 45-man roster for training camp. The dates and places of those tryouts remained to be determined.
Twenty-five players, including four inactive members, will make the roster for the eight-on-eight games.
Players who make the team will receive $225 per game and a $25 bonus if the Predators win.
The league runs a 14-game schedule from March through June.
The field is 50 yards long. There is no punting.
For more information, go to www.kentpredators.com.