Empire Adds Top IFL Receiving Leaders

Empire Adds Top IFL Receiving Leaders

SPOKANE, Washington  – The Empire has re-signed wide receiver Carl Sims and added Bryan Pray to their 2017 IFL roster.

Sims (WR, 6-0, 190, Western Illinois) returns for his second season in Spokane in 2017 and ninth season as a member of the IFL. Carl is one of the few players in league history that has competed in every IFL season and is ranked second in IFL history for career receiving yards with 4,828.

Last season, Carl saw action in 15 games and led the Empire with 71 catches for 822 yards and 20 touchdowns. In 2015, Sims started the season in Cedar Rapids where he played in four games and recorded nine receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown. He was then traded in March to the Billings Wolves where he played in five games and hauled in 18 receptions for 280 yards and five touchdowns. Sims would then go on to finish the season with the Green Bay Blizzard where he saw action in five games and hauled in 35 receptions for 362 yards and ten touchdowns.

Sims spent the 2013 and 2014 IFL seasons with Cedar Rapids where he played in 27 total contests and recorded 109 receptions for 1,533 yards and 36 touchdowns. He also received First Team All-IFL honors during the 2013 season.

In 2011 and 2012, Sims was a member of the Sioux Falls Storm. In 2012, Sims received First Team All-IFL honors after hauling in 72 receptions for 1,108 yards and 20 touchdowns. During the 2011 season, Sims recorded 22 receptions for 420 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight games.

During his second season in the IFL, Sims spent time with the former Billings Outlaws. He began his IFL career in 2009 with the Bloomington Extreme.

Sims played all four years of his collegiate career at Western Illinois University where he saw action in 36 games and recorded 136 receptions for 1,724 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also contributed on special teams as a punt and kick returner. During his junior and sophomore campaigns, Sims earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors.

Pray (WR, 5-7, 185, Pittsburgh State) joins the Empire in 2017 as the career leader in receiving yards in IFL history (4,967).  Last season with the Iowa Barnstormers, Bryan hauled in 54 receptions for 769 yards and 12 touchdowns in ten games. His 76.9 yards per game ranked first in the IFL during the regular season. He also earned Second Team All-IFL honors.

Bryan spent three seasons with the Cedar Rapids Titans (2013-2015) where he saw action in 38 total contests and recorded 131 receptions for 1,830 yards and 38 touchdowns. In 2013, Pray received Second Team All-IFL honors.

Before joining the Titans, Bryan spent the 2012 season with the Green Bay Blizzard. Despite having his season cut short due to a shoulder injury, he led the Blizzard with 45 receptions for 708 yards and 16 touchdowns. In 2011, Pray started the season with the Lacrosse Spartans before being traded to Green Bay in Week 8 of the regular season.  He hauled in 42 catches for 673 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. In 2010 with the West Michigan Thunderhawks, Bryan led the league with 48 receptions for 700 yards and 15 touchdowns in seven games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Pray began his collegiate career at Northwestern Oklahoma A&M where he saw action in three games and recorded 205 receiving yards on the season. He went on to transfer to Pittsburgh State University where he would record 1,510 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 26 total contests. Bryan played his prep career at Northeast High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Additional Transactions (2-16-17): Spokane released Thomas Shuler (WR, 6-0, 195, Marshall), Larry Mazyck (OL, 6-7, 330, Kansas), Pat McNeil (DL, 6-3, 320, Middle Tennessee State), Mikingston Marasaille (OL, 6-6, 345, FAU), and Malcolm Griggs (DB, 6-3, 210, New Hampshire). Orlandus Harris Sr. (WR, 6-1, 200, Eastern Kentucky) was placed on the refuse to report list. The Empire signed Carl Sims (WR, 6-0, 190, Western Illinois), Bryan Pray (WR, 5-7, 175, Pittsburgh State), and Harold Love III (DL, 6-3, 340, Bethune-Cookman).