JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Sharks announced Monday that the team has been assigned quarterbacks Kyle Rowley and Lee Chapple. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.??
"We were put in a situation where we needed to act quickly, and we are excited to bring aboard a player with the championship experience of Kyle Rowley," Sharks head coach Les Moss said. "He is a quarterback with a long history of success in the indoor game, and we expect him to step in and help our team win games. In addition, Lee Chapple is a young talent who did a great job of competing during training camp, and is already familiar with our system and personnel. We're glad to have Lee back."
The 34-year-old Rowley (6'0", 195) is a fourth-year AFL veteran who began the 2013 season with the Orlando Predators. Appearing in five games with Orlando, Rowley completed 93 of his 180 passes for 1,153 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Before joining the Predators, Rowley enjoyed an outstanding three-year run with the Spokane Shock.
Rowley first played with the Shock in 2010, leading the team to the ArenaBowl XXIII title in the franchise's first season in the League. That year, Rowley completed 65.3% of his passes for 4,428 yards and 100 touchdowns against just 11 interceptions, setting what was a the time an AFL rookie record with a passer rating of 120.8. He capped that rookie season with a stellar nine-touchdown performance in ArenaBowl XXIII, earning ArenaBowl MVP honors in the process.
Returning to Spokane in 2011, Rowley again completed well over 60 percent of his passes, going 294-for-454 for 3,322 yards and 78 touchdowns. In his final year with the Shock in 2012, Rowley nearly hit the 100-touchdown mark for a second time, ending the year with 96 touchdown passes and a career-best 65.4% completion percentage. On June 23, 2012, Rowley established a new single-game AFL record by throwing 12 touchdowns against the San Jose SaberCats – though that record was tied by Utah quarterback Tommy Grady later in the season.
Prior to the start of his AFL career, Rowley gained significant experience in af2. In 2006, he led the Shock, then an af2 franchise, to an Arena Cup championship and was named the 2006 Arena Cup Offensive Player of the Game. The native of Warwick, Rhode Island spent his collegiate career at Brown University, leading the school to an Ivy League Championship in 1999.
The 23-year-old Chapple (6'1", 215) participated in the Sharks' training camp prior to the start of the 2013 season before being placed on recallable reassignment on March 16. Chapple is in his first season in the Arena Football League after wrapping up a stellar career at North Alabama, where he spent the final two years of his collegiate career. As a senior in 2011, Chapple led the Lions to a 9-3 regular-season record, completing 65% of his passes for 3,322 yards and 24 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. He also topped the 3,000-yard mark the previous year, totaling 3,051 yards and 21 scores against 12 interceptions as a junior in 2010. During that 2010 season, Chapple established a new single-game school record by racking up 447 passing yards in a game against Glenville State.??
Chapple transferred to North Alabama after spending three years at Georgia Southern. After redshirting in 2007, he appeared in seven games as a freshman in 2008 and served as the team's full-time starter in 2009. He completed 233 of his 360 passes (64.7%) for 1,774 yards and eight touchdowns during his final season at Georgia Southern. A native of Alpharetta, Georgia, Chapple attended Greater Atlanta Christian High School.
To make room for Rowley and Chapple on the team's active roster, the Sharks also announced Monday that quarterback Bernard Morris has been placed on inactive reserve, and quarterback R.J. Archer has been placed on league suspension. Following the transactions, the Jacksonville roster remains at the league maximum of 24 active players.
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