SALT LAKE CITY – The news Gallaudet University senior defensive back Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) had been waiting for, to sign a professional football contract, finally became a reality Wednesday when he was assigned to the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League.
Tatum joins a Blaze team that is currently 4-5 overall and in fourth place of the Northern Conference West Division.
"Tony has a lot of natural talent, but he's also a smart player," said Utah coach Ron James. "We brought him in for a workout and he picked up our system very quickly. I think Tony can play a few different positions on our defense and I'm excited to have him on board."
Tatum helped to lead Gallaudet to a 7-3 record, 5-2 mark in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) last season. Tatum earned dozens of honors including being named a D3football.com All-American fourth team defense, BSN All-America first team, ECFC Defensive Player of the Year, ECFC Special Teams Player of the Year, two-time All-ECFC honoree to name a few.
Though the ball was hardly thrown in his direction, Tatum finished the season with six interceptions, which tied him at No. 25 in the country for Division III. He scored four touchdowns, including two on special teams, one on offense and one on defense. Tatum added 24 total tackles and a forced fumble and his 15.14-yard punt return average was good for sixth in the country.
Utah's next game is Monday, June 3, in San Antonio, Texas, as the Blaze face the Talons in the Alamodome.
Quote courtesy of Utah Blaze communications office