After a full season of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, the two best offensive players for the Chicago Rush have received a big time season ending award. Wide receivers Reggie Gray {wearing number 1 in title photo} and Jared Perry {wearing number 6}, were named to the Arena Football League's top 25 players for the 2012 season. The AFL created the list especially for this year because 2012 has been celebrated as the 25th season for the original indoor football league.

Gray who many {including myself} feel that he should be in consideration for Ironman Of The Year, is the leading receiver for the Rush this year. Thus far he has caught 136 passes for 1,854 yards, and 46 touchdowns. He averaged over 13 yards per catch this season. He also holds the Rush franchise records for most receptions of all-time and most all-purpose yards in a season. Both records were broken during the 2012 campaign.

Grey also leads the Rush in kick return stats. He has returned 71 kicks for 1,219 yards and 3 touchdowns. "Big Play" as his teammates call him, is also one of the league leaders in all-purpose yards. And on top of his receiving and returning stats, he has also played defense when needed. The Rush during the 2012 season have had defensive backs rotate in and out like a revolving door due to injuries. But when the Rush were really thin at the position, Reggie Gray stepped in and held his own.

It's a damn shame that he is not even being considering for Iron Man Of The Year, especially when in the current age of the AFL iron men are few and far between.  As for Jared Perry, the rookie of the year nominee is the second leading receiver on this Rush team. To date  he has caught 129 balls for 1,777 yards and 31 touchdowns, he's also averaged 13 yards per catch. He is also in the top three amongst offensive rookies in the arena league this year.

Jared Perry may be shy off the field, but his actions on the field speak volumes. In my opinion, no rookie has made a bigger impact this season than Jared Perry. And here's the best part, the Rush have one more game to play and I am sure that both of these outstanding players will add to their totals for this season. The Rush are in Cleveland tomorrow night to wrap up the 2012 season against the Gladiators.

It must be noted Rush linebacker Kelvin Morris was also on this list and deservedly so. "K-Mo" as he is known, has been the heart and soul of this Rush defense. Aside from his defensive responsibilities, Morris also chipped in on the offensive side of the ball. He is the teams third leading rusher this year with 10 carries for 9 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also had one reception this year when he lined up as a wide receiver. The catch only went 4 yards, but those 4 yards led straight to the endzone.

It's a shame that the Rush will miss out on the playoffs for the first time time in team history, but it has been a fun season watch. It must be noted that despite his performance during the season, Rush quarterback Russ Michna was left off of the top 25 list. I feel that he was snubbed. Despite being put on injured reserve for the third year in a row, Russ Michna had another record breaking season.

He broke the Rush all-time records for both most passing yards in a game and most completions in a game. That was earlier this year against Spokane. Michna was also in the top 5 among all quarterbacks before the injury. It's a shame that Russ is not on the list but I guess beggars can't be choosers. Tomorrow night you can follow me during the game on Twitter: @GabeSalgado82

Here is the rest of the top 25 list courtesy of the Arena Football League:

1.            Utah Blaze QB Tommy Grady

2.            Philadelphia Soul WR Tiger Jones

3.            Arizona Rattlers QB Nick Davila

4.            Iowa Barnstormers WR Jesse Schmidt

5.            Philadelphia Soul FB Derrick Ross

6.            Philadelphia Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh

7.            San Jose SaberCats QB Mark Grieb

8.            Cleveland Gladiators WR Dominick Goodman

9.            Utah Blaze WR Aaron Lesue

10.            Arizona Rattlers WR Maurice Purify

11.            San Antonio Talons QB Aaron Garcia

12.            Chicago Rush WR Reggie Gray

13.            Utah Blaze WR Tysson Poots

14.            Pittsburgh Power WR PJ Berry

15.            Georgia Force WR Larry Shipp

16.            New Orleans VooDoo JLB Alvin Ray Jackson

17.            San Jose SaberCats DL Joe Sykes

18.            Philadelphia Soul DB Kent Richardson

19.            Spokane Shock DB Terrance Sanders

20.            Chicago Rush WR Jared Perry

21.            San Antonio Talons WR Jomo Wilson

22.            Philadelphia Soul WR Donovan Morgan

23.            Iowa Barnstormers QB J.J. Raterink

24.            San Antonio Talons DB Fred Shaw

25.            Chicago Rush JLB Kelvin Morris

Filed under: The Locker Room

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