On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Storm announced two more signings, Raymond McNeil and Justin Hilton. McNeil, a seven-year veteran, now starts a second stint in the blue and gold.
McNeil (6’2″, 315 lbs.) returns after spending 2015 and 2016 with the Jacksonville Sharks. During those two seasons, McNeil anchored one of the best offensive lines in the entire league, allowing a mere 18 sacks, including an Arena Football League low of eight during the 2015 run to ArenaBowl XXVIII.
“Raymond is one of the top centers in the League,” said Storm vice president of football operations Jeff Gooch. “He adds consistency and stability to our offensive line. He has seven years of experience which will be a tremendous asset both on and off the field.”
McNeil has shined at his position throughout his entire indoor career, starting by earning All-af2 honors with the Milwaukee Mustangs in 2008 and 2009. Starting with the Milwaukee Iron in 2010, he spent time with the Utah Blaze, Spokane Shock, and San Jose SaberCats before joining the Storm in 2014. Throughout his career, he’s only missed four games, starting 109.
“I’m happy to be back with the Storm,” said McNeil. “I’ve planted roots here in Tampa and I’m looking forward to giving back to not just the fans in the stands, but also the community as a whole.”
The team also added depth at wide receiver by acquiring wide receiver Justin Hilton.
Hilton (6-foot-2, 195 lbs.) joins the team where his AFL career began in 2013. He spent parts of the 2014 season with the Storm before crossing I-4 to play for the Orlando Predators for part of the 2015 season. In his three-year career, Hilton’s caught 45 passes for 694 yards and 15 scores.
The Kissimmee, FL, native began his professional career with the NFL’s Cincinatti Bengals, signing with them in 2012 as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Indiana State. He went to the CFL in 2013, spending part of that season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before coming indoors and signing with Tampa Bay.