The Tucson Sugar Skulls have signed their first five players for the 2020 season including the league’s top running back, Mike Jones.
Also back for 2020 under new head coach Dixie Wooten are linebacker Robert Metz, a Canyon Del Oro High School graduate who was one of the first players signed by the Sugar Skulls in their inaugural season, and speedy wide receiver Jeremiah Harris who electrified fans when he arrived midseason.
The Sugar Skulls have also signed Jajuan Harley, a safety with indoor football experience, and dual-threat quarterback Johnny McCrary.
The three returning players are:
Mike Jones, 5’10”, 215 pounds, running back. Jones led the league’s running backs with 711 yards rushing. His 59.3 yards-per-game average led the league. He topped the Sugar Skulls with 25 touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 293 yards. Jones was a first-team All-IFL selection.
“Mike is one of the best running backs I’ve seen in the IFL,” Wooten said. “He’s big, quick, fast, and is very strong with great hands. Getting him back gives us one of the best players in the league.”
Robert Metz, 6’4”, 245 pounds, linebacker. Metz played in six games and had 13 solo tackles and 21 tackles overall. Before joining the Sugar Skulls, he spent two years with the Green Bay Blizzard and was a second-team all-IFL linebacker in 2018. He currently is a volunteer assistant coach at Canyon Del Oro where he coaches inside linebackers.
“Metz is the type of player I want at linebacker,” Wooten said. “He’s smart, physical, and a leader on the field and in the community. In the indoor game, your defense starts with the middle and Metz will do a good job controlling it.”
Jeremiah Harris, 5’7”, 150 pounds, wide receiver. Harris joined the Sugar Skulls for the ninth game of the season and immediately electrified home crowds with three kick returns for 105 yards against San Diego. Over the six regular-season games he played, he caught 27 passes for 289 yards and six touchdowns, including a 40-yard catch for a TD. He capped all of his touchdowns with a signature backflip in the end zone.
The new players signed are:
Jajuan Harley, 6’2”, 215 pounds, safety. Harley has IFL experience having played in six games with the Iowa Barnstormers in 2019. He was a team captain and recorded 13 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. Harley began his college career at Florida State where he appeared in19 games over two seasons. He transferred to Middle Tennessee St. for the 2012 season, finishing the year with 74 total tackles and one forced fumble. He has had a number of NFL tryouts, most recently with the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills.
Johnny McCrary, 6’4”, 218 pounds, quarterback. A dual-threat quarterback from Decatur, Georgia, McCrary played two seasons at Vanderbilt in 2014 and 2015. He earned SEC freshman of the week honors in 2014 and finished his two-year career at Vanderbilt with 1,773 rushing yards and 985 yards passing with nine touchdowns. He finished his college career at Clark Atlanta University in 2016 and threw for 1,903 yards and 14 touchdowns.
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 in early October.
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.