SPOKANE, Washington – The Empire has activated wide receiver Samuel Charles from the short-term injured reserve, and have signed K Kyle Brontzman and DB Toney Hurd Jr. to their active roster in prep for Week 4 of the 2017 IFL regular season.
Charles (WR, 6-3, 210, Edward Waters) will take the field for his third season as a member of the IFL and second in Spokane. Before the start of the regular season, Samuel suffered a minor knee injury that forced the team to place him on the short-term injured reserve list which held him out of the Empire's first two regular season games.
During the 2016 IFL regular season, Samuel played in 13 games as he registered 37 receptions for 426 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the Empire's two postseason games, five of his six receptions went for touchdowns and a total of 98 yards receiving.
In 2014 as a member of the IFL's Wyoming Calvary, Charles saw action in 14 games and led the team with 79 receptions for 849 yards and 22 touchdowns. He would go on to sign with the Shock at the end of the AFL's 2014 season but would not see the field. During the 2015 AFL season in Spokane, Charles saw action in four games and recorded 20 receptions for 221 yards and three touchdowns before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Before his professional career, Charles played his collegiate career at Edward Waters College (FL) where he earned All-Independent NAIA Second Team honors during his senior season in 2009. He played his prep career at Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School in Hialeah, Florida.
Brotzman (K, 5-10, 190, Boise State) will step into the Empire's Week 4 lineup in relief of kicker Craig Peterson who will miss the game in Salt Lake due to a previously schedule kicking camp.
Last season, Kyle handled kicking duties in Spokane's Week 8 game against Colorado as a part of a 97-72 victory. In that game, Kyle tied the IFL single game record for the most point-after-attempts made in a game as he converted on 13-of-14 of his kicks.
Before his first stint in the IFL, Kyle played three seasons in the Arena Football League with the Utah Blaze from 2011-2013. With the Blaze, Brotzman connected on 3-of-7 field goal attempts and 232-of-276 extra point attempts.
Kyle played his collegiate career at Boise State University where he joined the team as a walk-on before earning the starting kicker and punting duties. He earned second-team All-WAC honors in 2007 and was the Bronco's co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2008. He was also a key member of Boise State's 2010 Fiesta Bowl winning team.
Hurd (DB, 5-9, 180, Texas A&M) joins the Empire for his rookie season as a member of the IFL. Before joining Spokane, Toney most recently spent time with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During his collegiate career as an Aggie, Hurd saw action in 51 total contests and recorded 153 total tackles, six tackles for loss, five pass deflections, two interceptions, and two sacks. At the end of each of his four seasons, Texas A&M finished in the AP Top 25 and made bowl appearances whichincluded the Cotton Bowl Classic (2010 and 2012), Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (2011), and the Chick-fil-A Bowl (2013). In 2010-2011 the Aggies played as a member of the Big-12 Conference before moving to the Southeastern Conference in 2013.
Toney played his prep career at Fort Bend Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas where he was an Under Armour High School All-American and earned first-team all-district honors as a senior in 2009.
Additional Transactions (3/10/17): Spokane released Carl Sims (WR, 6-0, 190, Western Illinois) and Craig Robinson (K, 6-3, 225, SUNY Cortland).