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March 20, 2001

LAS VEGAS – With destiny in their hands entering Saturday’s nationally-televised contest against the division-leading Los Angeles Xtreme, the resurgent Las Vegas Outlaws (4-3) added two players Monday to the offensive side of the ball. Outlaws Head Coach Jim Criner claimed offensive center/guard Aaron Graham and wideout Eric Guliford from the XFL player pool. In order to make room on the team’s roster, tackle Eric Bateman and WR Todd Floyd were waived.

Graham, a four-year NFL veteran with the Arizona Cardinals, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs following the 1999 NFL season and was released from Kansas City on the eve of the most recent campaign. The two-time NCAA champion at Nebraska was Arizona’s fourth-round pick in the 1996 NFL draft and played in 62 NFL games, a total which includes 41 starts at center and left guard.

The 6-4, 285-lb. Graham is an enormously respected long snapper who never had a punt blocked in his four years at Nebraska, where he teamed with Outlaws S Jamel Williams. Graham recorded the fastest-ever snap from center to holder at the 1996 NFL Player Combine, while his father, David, was a ninth-round pick of the L.A. Rams in 1970.

“Aaron is a big, physical, quick lineman who will fit in easily with our system,” said Criner, who has added five offensive players to the team in the since February 26. “He will compete immediately for a spot on our line, and brings competitiveness and strength to our center and guard positions.”

Outlaws C David Diaz-Infante started the first four games of the Las Vegas season before missing the last three games with an infection in his right knee. Because of the uncertainty of the two-time Super Bowl champion’s return for Saturday’s crucial Western Division contest at Los Angeles, the addition of Graham’s strength and experience to the offensive line comes at a pivotal time in the Outlaws season.

Guliford also brings experience and a proven ability to change the game on both offense and special teams to Las Vegas. The former Arizona State star has spent five of the last eight seasons in the NFL (Minnesota Vikings/Carolina Panthers/New Orleans Saints) and three in the CFL. During his last two seasons as a teammate of Outlaws K Paul McCallum in Saskatchewan, Guliford caught 123 balls for 1756 yards and 12 TDs and returned 90 punts for nearly 1,000 yards.

“As with the recent additions of Mark Grieb, Yo Murphy and Tony Berti, bringing Guliford and Graham to Las Vegas improves the competition at each position and forces everyone on our roster to give 100% effort,” stated Criner. “Guliford has proven to be a weapon for both his NFL and CFL teams, and we expect him to add speed and savvy to our roster.”

Guliford finished his career at Arizona State as a second-team All-Pac 10 selection who ranked second in school history and third in conference history in career receptions, with 164. He was named the Sun Devils’ Offensive MVP after his senior year, in which he caught 55 balls for 801 yards and two TDs. During the 1997 and 1998 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, where he played with the Outlaws’ Brett Bech, Guliford led the team in punt return yardage to mark five out of six years that he led his team in that category. In 1997, he finished second in the NFC and third in the NFL in kickoff return yards, averaging 26.2 yards/return, and tied the record for longest KO return in NFL history with his 102-yard TD return at St. Louis on August 31, 1997.


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