Locomotives fortify defense in first rounds of UFL draft

Coach Jim Fassel said Wednesday’s United Football League draft went just as he had planned for the defending champion Las Vegas Locomotives.

“It fell to us like we set the board up,” he said. “We didn’t have any interruptions. They were guys we really wanted.”

Fassel not only got those players but is expected sign linebacker Ed Hartwell, a Cheyenne High School graduate who played six seasons in the NFL. Fassel did not comment about Hartwell because his signing was not official.

But Fassel could talk about his draft picks, which began with the first-round selection of linebacker Dominic Payne of Western State. Fassel said Payne’s strong private workout erased any doubts about his Division II background.

Payne also played in the United Indoor Football league.

“He gives us great versatility at linebacker,” Fassel said. “He can also play special teams. He can just do a ton of stuff. I like the guy’s athleticism, and he works hard and competes.”

The Locos stayed with defense in the second round, choosing cornerback and kickoff returner Michael Ray Garvin of Florida State.

“I can say this with all honesty, he has the fastest 40 time I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” said Fassel, who wouldn’t disclose what Garvin clocked in the 40-yard dash. “He’s really competitive and kind of a tough guy with tremendous speed. I haven’t seen many guys come across the finish in the 40 and they’re still accelerating speed.”

The other draft picks were, in order of selection, defensive end Brian Coulter of Missouri, offensive tackle Ryan Considine of Louisiana Tech, wide receiver Jovonte Taylor of Hawaii, fullback Russ Weil of Illinois, offensive tackle Cliff Washburn of The Citadel, wide receiver Eddy Newton of Baylor, safety Tony Parrish of Washington, safety Lewis Baker of Oklahoma, running back Alex Henderson of Northern Arizona and defensive tackle Gabe Long of Utah.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at
manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914.

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