12/10/2012 4:56 PM
JACKSONVILLE – The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Wednesday that a key member of the team’s ArenaBowl XXIV-winning defense will return to the team, as defensive lineman/linebacker Justin Parrish has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a one-year contract. Defensive lineman Donte’e Nicholls has also been assigned to the Sharks’ 2013 roster on a one-year rookie contract. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“It’s great to have Justin back, as he was a great player on our championship team,” Sharks Head Coach Les Moss said. “He’s a proven pass rusher in this league and we’re excited to see what he will do for us next season.”
The 28-year-old Parrish returns to Jacksonville after spending the 2012 season with the Pittsburgh Power. Parrish played in 16 games with Pittsburgh and entrenched himself as one of his team’s top pass rushers, ranking second on the team with 7.0 tackles for loss and third with 4.0 sacks. He also notched three quarterback hits, forced a fumble and recovered two more. Parrish returned one of his recovered fumbles 40 yards for a touchdown.
Before heading to Pittsburgh, Parrish spent each of his first two AFL seasons in Jacksonville. As a rookie in 2010, Parrish emerged with three sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. In 2011, Parrish appeared in 17 games as a member of the Sharks’ championship team, making six starts at Mac linebacker and nine starts along the defensive line. That season, he totaled 23.5 tackles (13 solo), and ranked fourth on the team with 5.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks. During the team’s three-game playoff run, Parrish led the way with two tackles for loss and recorded one of Jacksonville’s two postseason sacks.
A native of Landover Hills, Maryland, Parrish spent his collegiate career at Kent State University.
Nicholls, 24, is set to begin his rookie season in the AFL after finishing his collegiate career at Tennessee State. He signed with the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft, but was waived by the team prior to the start of training camp. Nicholls joins the Sharks after attending the team’s open player tryout, held earlier this month in Nashville, Tennessee.
At Tennessee State, Nicholls started all 11 of the Tigers’ games as a senior in 2011, recording 29 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack. He also notched one pass breakup, blocked a kick and recorded a quarterback hit. Nicholls set college career highs in 2010, as the racked up 6.0 tackles for loss and recorded 1.5 sacks during his junior year.
Nicholls came to Tennessee State after beginning his collegiate career at the University of South Carolina. He is a Florida native who attended high school in Pompano Beach.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back-to-back South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2013 season are now available, two tickets as low as $185. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. 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.