11/06/2015 4:11 PM
JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks announced Friday that offensive linemen Ray McNeil and Moqut Ruffins will return to the team, as each of the two players has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a two-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“The outstanding play of our offensive line was a major key to our success in 2015,” Sharks head coach Les Moss said. “Ray and Mo have each proven themselves to be among the league’s best at their position, and retaining them was a primary goal for our team heading into this offseason. We are very excited to have them back in Jacksonville for the next two years.”
McNeil and Ruffins combined to make 36 starts along the offensive line during the 2015 regular season. Each player was a major piece of the pass protection unit that allowed just eight sacks during the course of the season, the fewest allowed by any Arena Football League team in 2015 and the lowest total yielded by the Sharks during Jacksonville’s six seasons as a franchise. In addition, these players helped pave the way for Derrick Ross’ league-leading 586-yard, 33-touchdown season on the ground.
The two players each started all three of Jacksonville’s playoff games this past season, helping lead the team to an appearance in ArenaBowl XXVIII.
The 31-year-old McNeil (6’2”, 315) went the distance for Jacksonville in 2015, starting all 18 regular-season games at center in his first year with the team. Prior to his tenure with the Sharks, McNeil played with five AFL organizations over the previous four years of his career, logging stints with the Tampa Bay Storm (2014), San Jose SaberCats (2013), Milwaukee Mustangs (2012), Utah Blaze (2011) and Spokane Shock (2011).
A native of Riverside, California, McNeil spent his collegiate career at Fort Valley State.
The 31-year-old Ruffins (6’5”, 340) put together a spectacular 2015 season, earning First Team All-Arena honors for his spectacular work in protecting quarterback Tommy Grady’s blind side. Starting all 18 games, Ruffins also continued to build his reputation as one of the league’s top pass-catching linemen, as he caught seven passes for 71 yards and three touchdowns as an eligible tight end. Before joining the Sharks, Ruffins played with the San Antonio Talons (2013-14), Pittsburgh Power (2012), New Orleans VooDoo (2011) and Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings (2010).
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ruffins attended Louisiana Tech before beginning his professional career.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are a member of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Shark Nation Memberships for the 2016 season are now available, starting as low as $99. To reserve your membership or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700 and speak to a Membership Activation Specialist. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.