Barnstormers: Rocky Hayes re-signs as Barnstormers roster starts to take shape

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Rocky Hayes steps up
All hail Rocky Hayes, who finished Saturday's 48-17 victory over Nebraska with three interceptions. Hayes helped lead the Iowa Barnstormers to their first championship game since 1997. Photo by Connor Ferguson

After a long break for the holidays, the transaction news in the Indoor Football League (IFL) is back and is back in full swing.

The Iowa Barnstormers were one of seven teams to announce new signings to their team on Wednesday afternoon. The biggest one for Iowa being the return of Rocky Hayes.

The former Arkansas State defensive back returns 59 tackles and three fumble recoveries to what was already going to be an impressive Barnstormers defense.

Barnstormers: Rocky Hayes re-signs as Barnstormers roster starts to take shape

Hayes becomes the eighth player to re-sign with an Iowa squad coming off of its first league championship in franchise history.

That number is already up from the five that coach Dixie Wooten re-signed from his first year team that went 13-3 to his United Bowl winning group.

With the signing of Hayes, the team will go into camp with four out of the five core defensive backs it took into the IFL Playoffs in 2018. The position group was arguably the best in the entire league.

However, it’s still missing one major piece to last season’s magical run: IFL defensive player of the year Bryce Enyard.

Enyard captured eight of the group’s 17 interceptions during the year, and has yet to re-sign to the team.

As always, things can still happen as the team has only signed 24 of the allotted 40 players they are allowed to go into training camp with.

Iowa adds Lineman and Running Back as well

On top of the Hayes signing, Iowa also added offensive lineman Oliver Lumpkin and running back Malik Brown.

Lumpkin – a 6’3” 305-pounder out of the University of Charleston – will give Iowa some size up front if he makes it through training camp and onto Iowa’s regular season roster.

Any time a team can add a 300+ pound body to the line, it’s a good sign in the non-stunting world that is indoor football.

Brown is a graduate of Southern Utah and will look to join Jamal Tyler at the running back position for the Barnstormers. Last season, Iowa saw a lot of success with a two-running back system and with only one of the pair back, there is no reason to think that it couldn’t work well again this year.

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