The Bloomington Edge open the 2013 season on March 15 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum against the Sioux City Bandits. (Photo by B Corbin/WJBC)
By WJBC Staff
The Bloomington Edge have announced the signing of a former University of Illinois standout who played with the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1990s.
The Edge signed offensive linemen Tim Simpson and Jamarkus Gorman, wide receiver Freddie Parham and defensive backs Justin Wilson and Josh Taylor.
Simpson was drafted out of the University of Illinois in the 12th round in 1992 by the Cleveland Browns and played with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1993 and 1994, who lost in the wild card and AFC Championship games respectively.
At Illinois, he was a team captain and earned Big Ten Conference honors in his final two seasons, and he was named one of the top ten offensive linemen in the history of Illini football in 2008.
Simpson also has extensive indoor football experience and served as the Bloomington Extreme’s offensive line coach in 2008.
“I’m very excited to have an experienced player like Tim Simpson,” said Edge head coach Kenton Carr. “He will undoubtedly be the leader on that offensive line. He is in great shape right now because he has been doing strongman competitions across the country. Finding a good center is like finding gold. They’re very hard to come by.”
Jamarkus Gorman also brings Big Ten experience to the Edge after a four-year career at Indiana, followed by seven years in indoor football, including the 2008 season when the Bloomington Extreme appeared in the United Bowl league championship game.
“Jamarkus is a true vet,” said Carr. “He really wants to help us win a championship and truly loves the game. He will help an already large offensive line.”
Freddie Parham played his junior and senior seasons at Southern Mississippi after a stellar junior college career.
“Freddie is an excellent wide receiver and he might be an even better kick returner,” said Carr. “He has been an outstanding player in the SEC and we’re looking forward to having him with us this year.”
Justin Wilson is another Southern Mississippi product where he played four seasons, three as a starting defensive back while earning second team SEC honors. Wilson also played last season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
“Justin is a player who can really help us in the defensive backfield,” said Carr. “He was ranked very high coming out of college and we’re looking for him to be an impact player for us in 2013.”
Josh Taylor was a starting defensive back at Ball State after two seasons at Joliet Junior College.
“(Josh) can cover and hit you,” said Carr. “He is a bigger DB and can play multiple positions. Josh will be one of our leaders on the defense for sure. We really wanted to have him with us last year, so we’re very excited to have him this season.”
The Edge begin play in the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League on March 15 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum against the Sioux City Bandits.