The Massachusetts Pirates have signed former All-Mountain West defensive lineman Youhanna Ghaifan for the 2020 season. In three years at the University of Wyoming, Ghaifan recorded 135 tackles, 28 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks and forced four fumbles. Ghaifan helped the Cowboys to an eight-win season in 2016 which included a berth in the Mountain West Conference championship game and a match up against Brigham Young University in the Poinsettia Bowl. The following season Ghaifan anchored the defense with eight more victories and a 37-14 victory over Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim hopes that Ghaifan can get to the quarterback like he did in college.
"We are always looking for players we feel can be efficient pass rushers for us. With the arena game being so pass oriented, being able to get to the quarterback is crucial. Youhanna was impressive during his time at Wyoming posting 28 career TFL's and 12 sacks. We look forward to having Youhanna up here come March." Yatim said.
Ghaifan’s 2017 season was his best at Wyoming when he was second in the conference with 12 tackles for a loss and fourth in sacks with seven. He recorded 69 tackles (39 solo) and was a First Team All-Mountain West selection.
“It was really fun to play at the University of Wyoming. I had great teammates and a great coaching staff. It was a great ride and I have to thank God for that, and I appreciated it.” He said.
After going undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, the 6’4” 280 lb. Ghaifan signed a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins, but his attempt to make an NFL roster was short lived.
“Actually, I didn’t get too much experience because I was cut on the first day because I pulled a hamstring, so I didn’t get any experience at all,” he said.
Ghaifan, who hails from Grand Island, NE was not selected in the recent XFL Draft but he is still pointing toward success this season, both for his new team and personally.
“I have something to prove. I haven’t had an NFL career. I’m going to take every opportunity that I can get and try to get myself back in the mix. I’m excited. From what I’ve heard arena football is 90 percent pass rushing. That’s one of my favorite parts of the game. Playing the pass is what I love,” he said.
Ghaifan can’t wait to show off his skills going one on one against the offensive linemen in the National Arena League.
“I took on a lot of double teams when I was in college. There was not a lot of one on one, but I am confident in my ability. I want to get enough film where an NFL, XFL or CFL team will look at me and say, “hey, here is a kid we missed out on.” That’s my personal goal. Obviously, I want the team to be successful and to win a championship, but that would be my personal goal,” 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.