The Massachusetts Pirates have bolstered their defensive line with the signing of Adrian Middleton who started 38 consecutive games on the defensive front for the Kentucky Wildcats form 2016-2018. This year the 6’3” 295 lb. defensive lineman from Bowling Green, KY signed NFL contracts with the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, attending their camps as an undrafted free agent.
In October of this year, Middleton was added to the XFL Draft Pool, but was not selected. Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim hopes that Middleton can find a home in pro football with the Pirates.
"Adrian comes to Massachusetts with a lot of experience under his belt in college, being a three-year starter in the SEC going up against some of the best offensive lines in the country. He played in a 3-4 defense at Kentucky which translates well to the arena game. He can play nose or end with his frame. We look forward to seeing him in camp this March," Yatim said.
This will be the first time Middleton will try his hand at arena football and he’s thankful for the opportunity and the one on one matchups that he’ll face as a defensive lineman.
“I used to watch arena football on ESPN. It’s another opportunity for me to play my favorite sport. I feel like is a good chance for me to prove that I can still play. Winning your one on one’s is most important. I’ll be able to show off my skill and technique,” he said.
In 43 games at Kentucky, Middleton had a total of 78 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, three sacks, one quarterback hurry and one pass broken up. Middleton helped the Wildcats to three straight bowl appearances including a 27-24 win over Penn State in the 2018 Camping World Bowl. Middleton, who graduated with a degree in media arts and studies and a minor in digital media and design, say’s football in the Southeast Conference truly does live up to the hype.
“Yes!” he said emphatically. “It’s one of the best conferences, they have the best talent. The skill of the game is just a little bit better in the SEC. The draft pool for the NFL comes from the SEC; it’s just a better conference,” he added.
Middleton knew he had “arrived” in his sophomore year when he started in the final 12 games of the season and finished with 35 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss.
“I got a couple tackles and thought, this is something I can do. All I needed was a chance and luckily, I got a chance my redshirt sophomore year and I feel like I had a pretty good year. From there it just stuck with me,” Middleton said.
As for his pro experience, Middleton liked the fact that he could just concentrate on football.
“It was really cool; I really enjoyed my time that I had at those two camps. It was a lot different because you don’t have any schoolwork. You just focus on football. Playing on the defensive line was a little faster, but nothing too crazy,” he added.
Like many players, Middleton hopes a successful season will help to advance his career.
“I want to show that I can still play football. My senior year at Kentucky wasn’t the greatest and hopefully I’ll be able to move up,” he added.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Forster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. Pirates season tickets for the 2020 season are now available starting at $99.00. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Follow the Pirates on Facebook, at Facebook.com/MAPirates, on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as on Twitter @mass_pirates.