The Storm have their new quarterback.
Coach Kurtiss Riggs said Wednesday the six-time indoor football champions have signed Martevious Young, a Southern Miss alum who played sparingly for the Omaha Beef last year, to assume the role of starting quarterback vacated by Chris Dixon, who recently signed with Orlando of the AFL.
Young will obviously have big shoes to fill, as Dixon won numerous MVP awards and championships with Billings and then Sioux Falls, but he was the man Riggs had been targeting as soon as he knew Dixon was leaving.
"We're excited about him," said Riggs, who signed a two-year extension shortly after last season's United Bowl win. "He's the guy we singled out as having the youth and energy but still enough indoor experience that he won't be awestruck with the indoor game."
Young rushed for 184 yards and four touchdowns last year in limited action for the Beef, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. He completed 31 of 59 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. In college, Young was the starting quarterback for Southern Miss as a junior, throwing 16 touchdowns with only three interceptions, but spent his senior year with the Golden Eagles as the backup quarterback.
The Storm were actually targeting Young even before Dixon left, since the Beef had suspended operations after the end of the 2012 regular season, and Young was a guy Riggs envisioned as an "athlete" who could serve as Dixon's backup while also seeing action at other spots. The hope was that within a year, Young would be ready to step in for Dixon; now that timetable has been fast-tracked.
To make Young's job easier, the Storm have also signed running back Tory Harrison, Young's teammate at Omaha last year, as well as multi-purpose back Mike Tatum, the 2012 IFL special teams player of the year as a kick returner. They'll also move Korey Williams to receiver full-time, next to James Terry and Blake Wilson, and Riggs believes that's a group that can take pressure off the new signal-caller and bring out his best.
"With the guys we had last year, we kind of let Chris drop back and do his thing," Riggs said. "This year the run game will be instrumental in what we do, and we're going to put pieces around Martevious that will allow us to have success. We have some guys where we want to get the ball in their hands as quick as possible."
Courtesy: Allison Norgaard, Sioux Falls Storm Office Manager