An arena football game in Kansas City

It may not have a name, logo or jerseys just yet, but Baltimore’s newest pro sports franchise is starting to come together.

The Arena Football League franchise announced yesterday that it has signed five players, three of them with NFL experience and two who are familiar with playing arena football. Here are their names, positions and brief summaries of their resumes:

  • Alfonzo Dennard, defensive back: Played three seasons with the New England Patriots and won a Super Bowl ring with them in 2015; attended the University of Nebraska and was named to All Big-Ten first team.
  • Travis Hawkins, also a defensive back: Played in the Canadian Football League for the last two years and signed with the Patriots as a free agent in 2014 before being released ahead of the preseason. He transferred from the University of Maryland to the University of Delaware, where he was named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association second team.
  • Leon Brown, offensive lineman: Twice signed and subsequently waived by the Baltimore Ravens; won a National Championship playing at the University of Alabama.
  • Kody Afusia, also an offensive lineman: Played for the LA KISS (yes, named after the band) in 2016 and attended the University of Hawaii, where he was received All-Mountain West Conference honors.
  • Ian Joseph, also an offensive lineman: Also played for the LA KISS last year and attended the University of California-Davis, where was named to the All-Big Sky Conference first team.

Coach Omarr Smith, who just received his job in Baltimore last month, coached both Joseph and Afusia during the LA KISS’ sole season last year. Of all the Baltimore team’s additions, he said in a statement, “We like the fact that these players have come from successful programs either in college or in the NFL. We believe that these players are not only good athletes but quality men and expect great things from them on and off the field.”

The newest team in town is one of five AFL franchises. They’re set to announce their name and unveil their jerseys next week.

As of now, the franchise needs 16 more players to fill out their active roster before they can take on their four opponents, including the Washington Valor down the Beltway, starting this April.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...