DOVER, Del. - Three former Wesley College All-Americans - Mike Ward, Larry Beavers and Bryan Robinson - have signed contracts to play professionally in the Arena Football League.
All three Wolverines signed with different teams. Ward has signed a contract with the Philadelphia Soul, Beavers with the Iowa Barnstormers and Robinson with the Kansas City Command.
Ward was named the to the AFCA and D3football.com All-America teams as a senior and was the ACFC Defensive Player of the Year. A defensive tackle, Ward finished second on the team with 81 tackles in 2009. That year, he was second on the team with 23.5 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks, ranking in the top 20 in Division III in tackles for loss. Ward also batted down seven passes, forced three fumbles and blocked a kick on the year. He paced a unit that finished fourth in Division III in tackles for loss per game, fifth in scoring defense, 10th in total defense and 15th in rushing defense. It is Ward's first professional contract. Ward finished his career with 45.5 tackles for loss, third all-time at Wesley at the time.
Beavers, who has previously played in the preseason with both the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, and returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the Saints this summer, was named an All-American by the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com. He was also named All-South Region and was the Atlantic Central Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Year. As a senior in 2008, Beavers returned a kick and a punt for touchdowns against the Apprentice School, consecutive kickoffs at Webber International, and a punt at Lake Erie College. His 98-yard kickoff return against Mary Hardin-Baylor set a school record for longest return and established the new Division III record with as his fifth kickoff return score of the year. He led Division III in kick return average at 39.5 and averaged over 29 yards per punt return. Beavers also started at receiver for the Wolverines, leading the team with 598 yards and tying for the team lead with 30 receptions and six touchdowns. He ended his career with 2,366 receiving yards, second all-time at Wesley and was seventh all-time with 126 career receptions.
Robinson, who has attended Arizona Cardinals training camp and has served stints in the AFL, AF2 and UFL, anchored the Wesley defense for four years, leading the team to a 44-7 record, three trips to the NCAA Playoffs and two trips to the national semifinals. As a senior, he led a team that advanced to the national quarterfinals and won both the Lambert-Meadowlands and ECAC Team of the Year Awards. Robinson was named to the AP Little All-American First Team and the American Football Coaches Association All-American First Team in 2007. His selection to the D3football.com All-American First Team was his third selection by that outlet, as was his D3football.com All-South Region Defensive Player of the Year Award. Robinson was also chosen as the ECAC All-Southwest Region Player of the Year. He was named All-ACFC First Team four times and was the ACFC Defensive Player of the Year three times.