Pitt

Former Alle-Valley Standout Joins Power

Beau Elliott

Highlands/IUP product Beau Elliott (#56) joins the Power after three successful seasons with the AFL’s Chicago Rush.

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By Matt Popchock

(mpopchock@kdka.com)

When the Pittsburgh Power joined the Arena Football League last year, they made possible a homecoming for some local football stars of the past. Now, as they round out their 2012 training camp roster, the Power, once again, are being true to their roots.

Veteran AFL center and former Highlands standout Beau Elliott, along with former Pitt defensive lineman Tommie Duhart, were assigned to the Power Friday. This brings their roster to 35 players unofficially, which is the most an AFL team is allowed to invite to camp.

These transactions give the Power eight players who played football in western Pennsylvania at one time or another, including such other WPIAL greats as Bill Stull (Seton-LaSalle) and Mike Washington (Aliquippa). In addition, Penn State alumni Knowledge Timmons and Mike Lucian are on the roster.

Elliott (6’3″, 315 lbs.) earned All-Greater Allegheny Conference honors as a sophomore and a spot on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Fabulous 22 team as a senior while being recruited by IUP in 2001. The recently-turned 29-year-old Brackenridge native spent the last three AFL seasons with the Chicago Rush after playing a pair with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers of the now-defunct AF2 developmental league. He made the AFL All-Rookie Team in 2008 and Second Team All-Arena in 2010, and although he began last season on injured reserve, he was the Rush’s regular center on a team that won its third division title in four seasons and reached the National Conference championship game.

His position coach will be John Sikora, the former Slippery Rock standout, who played several years in the league as a lineman and was one of Elliott’s original teammates in Chicago.

Duhart (6’4″, 320 lbs.) was recruited to play for the Panthers by former Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt, but disciplinary issues forced him to transfer to Valdosta State, a Division II school in Georgia. Still, Duhart will be remembered for his forced fumble and recovery in the final game of his true freshman season: the 2007 Backyard Brawl.

He becomes the seventh defensive lineman invited to camp, and he’ll aim to make his AFL debut this year after spending 2010 as an undrafted member of the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad.

Meanwhile, Elliott is one of nine offensive linemen expect to report–a group that includes 2011 Power regulars Mike Byrne and Mike Lucian. On paper, Elliott is an upgrade over former center Sione Ohuafi, but at any rate, it’s going to be very interesting watching all the hogs battle for jobs in the next month or so, because the Power generally appear to be entering camp with more depth in the trenches than they did last year.

“While linemen don’t get a lot of hoopla, the Power got much better today,” head coach Chris Siegfried said Friday. “Elliott is one of the top centers in this league and Duhart has tremendous ability.”

By the way, speaking of Stull, the Power have placed the former Pitt product on recallable reassignment, retroactive to Jan. 5. This means the Power had 48 hours to re-claim him off the AFL equivalent of the waiver wire before other teams were permitted to sign him.

However, although Siegfried has not commented on the impetus behind this move, chances are it was simply a bureacratic procedure necessary to make room for these latest roster moves. Stull returned to his native Pittsburgh last July to be closer to his family, so it is highly unlikely he would head elsewhere.

Having said so, it stands to reason that Siegfried would begin the upcoming season with Kyle Rowley, a former ArenaBowl MVP and the only other QB on the depth chart, as his number one. Stull, who won his only start with the Power by throwing for six TD’s in the 2011 finale, was Rowley’s backup in 2011 when both were members of the Spokane Shock.

Here’s an updated look at the Power’s training camp roster:

QB Bill Stull

QB Kyle Rowley

WR Mike Washington

WR Lonnell Dewalt

WR/KR P.J. Berry

WR Carlos Suggs

WR Darius Passmore

WR Perry Baker

WR Randy Hymes

WR Oderick Turner

OL Jason Jones

OL Mike Lucian

OL Mike Byrne

OL Joe Blanks

OL Justin Wells

OL Corey Konycki

OL Dan Jones

OL Tommy Crowley

OL Beau Elliott

DL Tommie Duhart

DL Terrance Taylor

DL Dominie Pittman

DL Neil Purvis

DL Jada Brown

DL Aaron Harris

DL Callahan Bright

FB/LB Tyre Young

LB Anthony DeGrate

LB Justin Parrish

DB Bryan Williams

DB Tyrrell Herbert

DB Chris LeFlore

DB Ahmaad Smith

DB Knowledge Timmons

DB Ricky Gary

DB Josh Lay

K Taylor Rowan

(Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/mpopchock)

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