Las Vegas Gladiators snag Prentiss|[10/06/05]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2005

Kevin Prentiss hoisted the Arena Cup trophy after leading the Memphis XPlorers of the arenafootball2 to a 63-41 win over the Louisville Flyers in August.

Looking on were coaches and scouts for the Las Vegas Gladiators. They saw Prentiss set an Arena Cup record for hauling in four touchdowns. They saw a lightning-quick receiver who has fought off those who have said he was too small since he was in high school. And most importantly, they saw someone they wanted on their team.

Prentiss, now living in Southaven, signed a contract on Tuesday that will send the former Warren Central standout to the original Arena League, the top-tier among indoor football leagues.

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&#8221I’m very excited,“ said Prentiss, who has been with Memphis for the past three seasons. &#8221It’s about time.“

After a standout career at Mississippi State, Prentiss played in the now-defunct XFL before landing in Memphis. He said his only trip to Las Vegas, known as Sin City, came in training camp in the XFL.

&#8221I’m not worried,“ said Prentiss when asked about the lures of Las Vegas. &#8221I have a little girl now.“

Prentiss is the father of 10-month-old Kayleigh.

In the AFL, Prentiss can expect higher caliber competition and more exposure. The league has feature games broadcast on NBC throughout the season.

&#8221It’s a lot more exposure,“ Prentiss said. &#8221A couple of the teams are owned by NFL clubs,“ he added in reference to reaching the NFL one day.

His statistics last season were mesmerizing. In the pass-happy, score often arenafootball2, Prentiss scored 44 touchdowns for 264 points, good enough for fourth in the league in scoring.

In 16 games, he had 1,627 yards receiving and 1,419 in kick return yardage placing him second among all af2 players.

Those statistics caught the eyes of several teams, but like he has gone through in the past, Prentiss was overlooked by many because of his 5-foot, 7-inch frame. Of the few that showed interest, Las Vegas jumped at the chance.

&#8221(Las Vegas) saw my ability to make plays and how quick I was,“ Prentiss said. &#8221They didn’t care about my size like a lot of teams do. Some teams concentrate only on your size, not how you play.“

Las Vegas, which lost its first three games last season, finished 8-8. In addition to Prentiss, the Gladiators signed six free agents on Tuesday.

Prentiss said he will stay in Southaven with his family until he is called on to report to Las Vegas shortly after New Year’s Day.

Until then, he said he will concentrate on two things.

&#8221I will be working and working out,“ he said.

The Arena Football League season begins in January and runs through May. The games are played indoors on a field 50 yards long field by 85 feet wide, with 8-yard end zones.