01/19/2017 3:19 PM -

JACKSONVILLE –  The Jacksonville Sharks announced today that they have signed defensive lineman Rodney Gnat and defensive back Brandon Absher to the 2017 roster.

Rodney Gnat (6’3, 253) will enter his fifth season in arena football and first with the Jacksonville Sharks. Gnat, who plays defensive end,  spent last season with both the Colorado Crush and the Wichita Falls Nighthawks of the Indoor Football League where he played in 2 games for the Crush before being spending the rest of the season with the Nighthawks where he played in 11 games. Overall he combined for a total of 37 tackles and seven sacks. In 2014, Rodney had a stint with the Sioux Falls Storm of the IFL, the Omaha Beef of the Champions Professional Indoor Football League and played a single game with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League where he collected 1.5 tackles before leaving to finish the season with the Columbus lions of the Professional Indoor Football League, helping the team to an American Conference Championship appearance.

During the 2013 season, Gnat played for the Iowa Barnstormers where we recorded 10 tackles, two for a loss, four pass breakups and 1.5 sacks. During his rookie season with the Barnstormers, Gnat recorded 17 tackles, seven for a loss, five sacks and three pass breakups. Prior to his pro career he played for the University of Louisville where he totaled 45 tackles, 16.5 for a loss, 10.5 sacks, six pass breakups and three forced fumbles.

Rodney Gnat is a native of Jacksonville, FL and attended Wolfson High School where he ranked the 32nd best defensive end by, 92nd best player in the state of florida and seventh-best defensive end in Florida. Gnat received Second Team All-League accolades, All-First Coast Honors, Second Team All-Conference honors. Gnat played both football and baseball for Wolfson high school before committing to Louisville.     

Brandon Absher (6’2, 190) will begin his rookie year in arena football. Prior to the Sharks, Absher played defensive back for Glenville State College, a Division II school in West Virginia. As a senior, he played in all 11 games for the Pioneers totaling 38 tackles, eight pass break-ups, and one interception. During his first two years at Glenville State he combined for 63 tackles and one interception.

Absher is a native of Sterling Park, VA where he attended Park View High School. During his time at Park View High he was a two-time All-Dulles District performer in football and a team captain. Over his four-year career he recorded 110 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks. Absher also played varsity basketball and track & field.

About the Jacksonville Sharks

The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions play all home games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks Nation Memberships for the 2017 season are now available. Shark Nation Memberships start as low as $99. To become a Shark Nation member or for more information please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at and Chum at