- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Brandon Rankin will play professional football this season for the Tri-Cities Fever in Kennewick, Wash. The Indoor Football League team plays in an arena that seats 5,970 spectators.
Adam Shackleford is the coach, and he coached Rankin last year in the Arena Football League with the Spokane Shock.
Rankin, a West Brunswick graduate, was contacted Feb. 26 and will leave for Washington next week.
“I’ll be ready for the second game,” he said.
“That’s a great opportunity for him,” said Jimmy Fletcher, his coach at West Brunswick. The team has been a steppingstone to the Canadian Football League.
“They had about six (players) sign with the CFL,” Fletcher said.
The Indoor Football League is a professional Indoor Football league created in 2008 out of the merger between the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football. The IFL consists of the United Conference (five teams) and the Intense Conference (four teams). The Fever is in the Intense Conference, along with the Colorado Ice, the Nebraska Danger and Wyoming Cavalry. The United Conference has teams in Green Bay, Wis.; Chicago; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Plano, Texas.
The Fever finished 12-2-0 last season, winning the Intense Conference championship but losing in the United Bowl to Sioux Falls.
Rankin, 24, played football last season for the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League. He was a defensive lineman.
Rankin said the IFL is one step lower than the AFL.
“But I will still get looks (from scouts),” he said. “I’m trying to make the best of it. Hopefully, I can get a nibble if I have a good season.”
The Fever plays its first game this weekend. It then has a bye in its 14-game schedule and Rankin said he would ready for the second game, March 15 at home against the Danger. The regular season ends June 15.
Rankin played football for two years at Washington State University. He was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention his senior year. He recorded 20 tackles: 12 solo, 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and one forced fumble.
Rankin also played two years for Butte Community College. In 2009, he had 62 tackles, 19 tackles-for-loss and 24 sacks in helping Butte to the national junior college championship. He was named 2008 National and California Junior College Defensive Player of the Year.
In his senior year at West Brunswick, Rankin had 93 tackles, eight sacks and six blocked kicks. Fletcher said Rankin needed one class to complete his undergraduate degree.