AIFA Rushing Leader, Buchanan Award Finalist Sparked Baltimore Attack

BALTIMORE, MD (October 30, 2009) – Running Back Isaiah “Zeke” Grier, who led the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) in rushing in 2009 and helped capture the Baltimore Mariners first playoff berth in franchise history, has been re-signed by the 1st Mariner Arena based team.

“Isaiah is one of the top running backs in indoor football and he is one of the most well rounded in regard to running, catching and blocking. For a game whose rules are built to emphasize the pass, Zeke brings the element of a balanced attack similar to the outdoor game. I love to see him run the ball,” said Mariners Head Coach Chris Simpson.

Following award filled seasons as a running back at Bayley-Ellard High School of Madison, New Jersey and Dean College of Franklin, Massachusetts, Grier made his mark at Rhode Island University as a defensive back. He saw limited action as a junior in 2000, playing in six games and totaling 12 tackles, in his senior season, however, he had a breakout season. Piling on 87 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, and eight sacks, Grier was a Buck Buchanan Award Finalist, an award given for the top 1-AA defender in the nation.

In 2004 Grier made his professional debut with the Evansville Bluecats of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). In his rookie season he became one of the league’s most dominant defensive players totaling 77 tackles, five tackles for a loss and an interception. In 2006 he returned to the pro ranks with the Reading Express, splitting time as a running back and defensive back. In 2007 he continued his dual role as defensive back and running back, but began to pile up impressive offensive stats. While tallying 16.5 tackles and two interceptions from his defensive back position, Grier topped the AIFA in rushing touchdowns with 20 and ranked third in rushing with 269 yards. He was named an All-AIFA Honorable Mention Running Back following the 2007 campaign.

After a hiatus from football in 2008, Grier completed his transformation from dominating defensive back to record breaking running back with the Mariners in 2009. Leading Baltimore‘s #1 ranked ground attack; Grier also led the AIFA in rushing with 514 yards and finished second with 20 rushing scores, setting new standards for Baltimore in both categories. Following the season he was named to the All-AIFA First Team.

“Last year I made a bold prediction that we would be a team that could and would run the football at any given time in the 2009 season preview of This Week in the AIFA. What I did not know, was that we would have one of the best rushing attacks in all of indoor football. 2010 should prove to be much of the same for Zeke and the Mariners offense as Coach Simpson and his staff has done a great job of preparing for the 2010 season,” commented Mariners General Manager Greg Justice.

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Submitted by John Wolfe
Media Relations Director
Baltimore Mariners