TUCSON, ARIZONA – The Tucson Sugar Skulls have signed the Indoor Football League's 2019 Most Valuable Player, quarterback Daquan Neal, to a contract for the 2020 season.
As a rookie in 2019, Neal accounted for 83 touchdowns for the Iowa Barnstormers under head coach Dixie Wooten who is now the head coach of the Sugar Skulls. He threw 59 TD passes, tops in the IFL, and rushed for 24 more. He completed 225 of 317 passes for 2,642 yards, an average of 188.7 yards passing per game, which was second in the league. He also was the IFL's fourth-leading rusher with 46.4 yards per game.
Neal, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, started at quarterback for the entire 2019 season as the Barnstormers finished second in the league with a 12-2 regular-season record. Neal led his team to a 61-58 come-from-behind victory over the Sugar Skulls in their only meeting of the season in Tucson. He threw for 265 yards and five touchdowns in the game and ran for the winning touchdown with
7 seconds left to play.
"To win a championship you need a strong quarterback and the Sugar Skulls have one," Wooten said. "He is the MVP. He is one of the most dangerous dual threat QBs in the IFL. He's a leader, a hard worker, a great teammate, and he gives back to the community."
Neal played three seasons of college football at Elizabeth City State University. As a senior, he threw for 3,218 yards and rushed for 684. He had a total of 25 touchdowns and earned honorable mention all-league honors.
"I just want to thank the Tucson community and Coach Wooten for welcoming me and for allowing me to continue my career," Neal said. "It was a great experience both on and off the field last year when we came to Tucson.
"Coach Wooten and I have unfinished business in the IFL and I'm happy for the opportunity to come to Tucson to help make history. I know I'm going to work hard for Coach Wooten and keep progressing as a quarterback. Let's get this ring, Tucson!"
The Sugar Skulls are entering their second season as a franchise in the IFL after becoming the first team in league history to make the playoffs in its first year as an expansion team.
The Sugar Skulls will play seven regular-season home games at the Tucson Arena beginning in March with the regular season running through June. The IFL playoffs will begin in early July. The 2020 IFL schedule is expected to be released later this month.
Season tickets for the 2020 season are currently on sale to the general public with reduced prices from the 2019 season in several sections of the arena. Season ticket information is on the Sugar Skulls website at www.tucsonsugarskulls.com. Information also is available by calling the team office at (520) 573-3000. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.