Russell, Stewart To Play In AFL In 2019

Russell, Stewart To Play In AFL In 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Former Ohio Dominican football standouts Grant Russell and Dez Stewart will spend the 2019 Arena Football League season with the Columbus Destroyers and Albany Empire, respectively.

The Destroyers are making their return to the AFL this year after being in the league from 2004-08, while the Albany Empire was the top-seed in the 2018 AFL playoffs.

Russell was the 2017 G-MAC Player of the Year, a Harlon Hill Trophy Candidate as the best Division II football player, and an Honorable Mention All-American by He led Division II in completion percentage (72.5 percent) and passing efficiency (190.6), which was the seventh-best passing efficiency in D-II history. He ranked fifth in Division II with 318.2 yards passing per game as well.

A three-year starter, Russell completed 700-of-1,022 passes (68.5 percent) over 40 games for 8,729 yards, 73 touchdowns and just 20 interceptions. He also ran for 690 yards and 14 scores.

Stewart was a three-year First Team All-GLIAC selection while also picking up several all-region accolades at ODU. For his career, he caught 196 passes for 3,197 yards and 25 touchdowns. In 2014, he caught 62 passes for 1,156 yards and 11 scores in helping ODU reach the quarterfinals and earn a No. 4 national ranking.

He was also a dangerous kick returner as a senior, averaging 25.2 yards per kick return while also returning a punt for a touchdown.

Stewart has spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions organizations since graduating from ODU.

Contact: Scott Miles