Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2018

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Locomotives bolster roster through UFL Draft

Florida State speedster and Las Vegas native among additions to the Locos roster

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Justin M. Bowen

Las Vegas Locomotives head coach Jim Fassel holds up the championship trophy with his team after they beat the Florida Tuskers 20-17 in the first UFL Championship at Sam Boyd Stadium.

As a professional football coach for more than 25 years, Jim Fassel has worked out hundreds of prospective players.

None of them have run a faster time in the 40-yard dash than cornerback Michael Ray Garvin. Fassel and the Las Vegas Locomotives selected Garvin in the second round of 2010 United Football League Draft on Wednesday night.

"We're not going to release times, but he was the fastest kid I've ever seen run a 40," Fassel said. "He was a blur. He's a tough guy."

Garvin graduated from Florida State in 2008 and spent time on the practice squads of the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions last season.

He came to Las Vegas last month for a workout at the urging of Las Vegas linebacker Brian Toal. Garvin and Toal were high school teammates at football powerhouse Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey, which also happens to be the alma mater of Fassel's son Mike.

"I had a little bit of background on the kid, and when he came in and worked out I was very impressed," Fassel said. "He has tremendous athletic ability."

Garvin also returns kicks and is the only player in Florida State history to average more than 30 yards per return. As happy as Fassel was with the selection of Garvin, he raved equally about the other 11 additions to the Locomotives.

Las Vegas selected linebacker Dominic Payne in the first round. Payne attended Western State of Colorado before playing professionally in the United Indoor Football League last season.

The Locos other high picks included Missouri defensive end Brian Coulter, Louisiana Tech offensive lineman Ryan Considine, Hawaii wide receiver Jovonte Taylor and Illinois fullback Russ Weil.

"At the end of the day, the board fell to us like we had it set up," Fassel said. "That's why I'm excited, because there are hundreds of football players out there and we got the 12 we wanted."

The Locomotives finished off their draft by taking Citadel offensive lineman Cliff Washburn, Baylor wide receiver Eddy Newton, Washington safety Tony Parrish, Oklahoma safety Lewis Baker, Northern Arizona running back Alex Henderson and Utah defensive lineman Gabe Long.

Fassel also was excited about the free-agent signing of linebacker Ed Hartwell, a seven-year NFL veteran originally from Las Vegas. An official announcement regarding the addition of Hartwell, who graduated from Cheyenne High, is expected today.

Las Vegas, champion of the inaugural UFL season, will open its 2010 slate Friday, Sept. 17 with a home game against the Florida Tuskers.

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