JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sharks and the Arena Football League announced Monday that Jacksonville defensive lineman Joe Sykes, Jack linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson and defensive back Greg Reid have earned First Team All-Arena honors for the 2015 season.
The 32-year-old Sykes (6'5", 290) put together what can be considered the most dominant individual pass-rushing season in AFL history. After being held without a sack in the season opener, Sykes embarked on an unprecedented streak of 10 consecutive games with at least one sack. In a Week 18 matchup against the Tampa Bay Storm, Sykes broke his own single-season AFL sack record, and he went on to establish new individual League marks with 18.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles. Sykes finished the 2015 season with 22.5 tackles for loss, six pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
This is Sykes' third All-Arena honor in his five AFL seasons, as he also earned First Team honors in 2012 with the San Jose SaberCats and 2013 with the San Antonio Talons. Sykes currently ranks third in AFL history with 53.5 career sacks, and has totaled 120.5 tackles, 65.5 tackles for loss, 19 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries during his time in the League.
The 34-year-old Jackson (6'2", 200) started all 18 games at Jack linebacker during his first season with the Sharks. He led all AFL Jacks and finished second on the team with seven interceptions, led all Sharks with four fumble recoveries and racked up 71.0 total tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and four pass breakups. Jackson also led the Sharks with three non-offensive touchdowns, as he returned an interception for a score in Week 10 at Los Angeles, returned an attempted onside kick for a touchdown in Week 14 against Cleveland and recovered a fumble in the end zone in Week 16 at Portland.
This is the second All-Arena honor that Jackson has received in his five-year AFL career, as he was named to the 2012 First Team when he was a member of the New Orleans VooDoo. Jackson has recorded 337.5 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 35 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries, 24 pass breakups and four forced fumbles during his time in the AFL.
An AFL rookie, the 24-year-old Reid (5'9", 185) joined the Sharks partway through the 2015 season, making his arena football debut in Week 7 at Cleveland. Reid wasted no time in making an impact, as he intercepted a pass on the third defensive snap of his AFL career. Starting each of the Sharks' final 12 regular-season games, Reid led the team with nine interceptions and 21 pass breakups. He led the AFL with 150 interception return yards, ranked second in interceptions per game (0.75) and third in passes defended per game (2.50). Reid also recorded a total of 70.5 tackles, forced a fumble and recovered two.
In Week 17 against Philadelphia, Reid keyed Jacksonville's fourth-quarter comeback by intercepting passes on two consecutive defensive snaps, returning one for a touchdown. Reid found the end zone twice during his rookie season, as he also returned a kickoff for a score.
The Sharks have now had a total of 11 defensive players earn All-Arena honors in the franchise's six seasons. Defensive back Micheaux Robinson was named to the First Team in 2011 and Second Team in 2012, Mac linebacker Aaron Robbins earned First Team honors in 2012 and Second Team honors in 2013, defensive back Terrance Smith earned First Team honors in 2013, and defensive linemen Derrick Summers (2011), Scooter Berry (2012) and Jerry Turner (2013) have each earned a Second Team selection while wearing a Jacksonville uniform.
The full 2015 All-Arena defensive teams are detailed below:
First Team All-Arena Defense
DE Joe Sykes, Jacksonville
DE James Ruffin, Spokane
NG Jason Stewart, San Jose
MLB Tyre Glasper, Arizona
JLB Alvin Ray Jackson, Jacksonville
DB Jeremy Kellem, Arizona
DB James Romain, Philadelphia
DB Greg Reid, Jacksonville
KR Duane Brooks, Portland
Second Team All-Arena Defense
DE Mike McAdoo, Arizona
DE Bryan Robinson, Philadelphia
NG Willie McGinnis, Cleveland
MLB Francis Maka, San Jose
JLB Terence Moore, Orlando
DB Ken Fontenette, San Jose
DB James Harrell, Tampa Bay
DB Rayshaun Kizer, Los Angeles
KR Brandon Thompkins, Orlando