ALBANY, NY - The League announced today 2021’s first team all NAL, which included six players from Albany. On offense, Darius Prince, Shawn Lockett and Roubbens Joseph were selected; and on defense, Kenneth McGruder, Patrick Macon and Trevon Shorts. 

Head coach Tom Menas said “No one man is greater than the team but it is important to recognize special performance that has been earned. Very proud of the elected guys.”

Wide Receiver Darius Prince has been nothing short of unstoppable this year, leading the league in reception yards per game (108.7) and touchdowns (29). Prince’s stats outpace the rest of the league’s receivers by a wide margin. The second best in receiving yards per game stands at 89.2 yards and 22 total touchdowns. Darius also ran for 6 touchdowns and scored a team high 210 points. 

Center Shawn Lockett and offensive lineman Roubbens Joseph fortified the offensive line this season, allowing Albany to have such a successful offense. The duo created a strong line of defense for QB Tommy Grady, giving him the time needed to connect with WRs like Darius Prince. A strong offensive line is the base for any successful offense, and Lockett and Joseph provided strength, discipline and protection for the Empire offense this season. 

Mac and Jack linebackers Patrick Macon (mac) and Trevon Shorts (jack) disrupted opposing offenses all season, and it’s no surprise that the pair was named first team. Macon was incredibly successful in getting to the opposing Quarterback, with 6.5 sacks this year. Macon also posted 32 total tackles and 8 tackles for loss. On the opposite side of the field, Trevon Shorts kept opponents in check. Shorts had 41 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 1 fumble recovery this season. 

Defensive back Kenneth Mcgruder has locked down receivers all year. Mcgruder’s strength and quickness was incredibly valuable to the Empire defense, with 57 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 pass breakups and 4 interceptions. While there is no statistic for hard hits, Mcgruder put his all into every single tackle. Many fans know the phrase “defense wins championships” and this 2021 Albany Empire defense has been vital as the team makes their run to win it all. 

The Empire also had 3 players named to second team all NAL, QB Tommy Grady, DL Harold Brantley and K Craig Peterson. 

The Albany Empire face off against the Columbus Lions for the NAL championship this Saturday, August 14th at the Times Union Center. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (518)714-2200 or at the link below.