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Greyhounds Sign Trio
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February 14, 2005 - Wheeling, WV-The Ohio Valley Greyhounds of the United Indoor Football Association are proud to announce the signing of two former Minnesota Golden Gophers, Tony Patterson (6-3, 201) and Paul Nixon (6-1, 235) and the re-signing of wide receiver Willie Austin.

Patterson played wideout for Minnesota from 2000 to 2003, playing under the direction of Head Coach Glen Mason. Tony became one of Quarterback Asad Abdul-Kaliq’s favorite targets during his tenure as a Gopher, reeling in 67 catches for 840 yards and four scores over his collegiate stay in Minnesota. Patterson progressed year by year at wide receiver, seeing his reception total progress from 12 recepetions as a Freshman in 2000 to 14, 20 and 21 catches during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, respectively. In 2002 and 2003, Tony was fourth on the team in receptions. His peak performance came as a sophomore in 2001, when Kaliq found Patterson seven times for 99 yards and a score on November 17th at Iowa.

Patterson was recruited as a quarterback after culminating a stellar session on the gridiron for East High School in Belleville, Illinois.

Nixon began his tenancy at Minnesota as a strong safety, weighing in at 180 pounds. By his senior season of 2003, Paul had become a 245-pound defensive end for Mason’s Gophers. Nixon finished up his eligibility with 63 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 12 tackles for loss. 2002 would prove to be his best season, as Paul racked up 35 tackles, six sacks (tied for fourth in the Big Ten), and eight tackles for loss (led the team). On November 2nd of that year, Nixon set a career high by recording three sacks vs. Ohio State, his favorite team as a child.

Paul attended Mifflin (Ohio) High School and is a native of Columbus. He was recruited as a football and track star out of high school by the likes of Hawaii, Dartmouth, Princeton, and the Gophers. The Mifflin gridder carried his team to a 31-10 record over his four years of interscholastic play. Paul was also selected to the “Big 33” game, pitting the best high school football stars from Ohio and Pennsylvania against each other on the same turf.

Nixon was listed by scout.com as a Top-100 Big Ten Draft Eligible Player for the 2004 NFL draft.

The Greyhounds are also proud to announce the re-signing of WR/DB Willie Austin (6-2, 194, Wisconsin).

Austin returns to the Greyhounds for his third season of indoor football in Wheeling and fifth overall. Willie blossomed at wideout last season, leading the Greyhounds in receptions (41) and finishing second on the team in receiving yards (466) to go along with 11 TDs. Defensively, Willie recorded 10 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 4 pass break-ups. For his efforts, Willie was named to the Atlantic East All-Star squad.

In 2003, Willie played in all 17 games for the Hounds, racking up 32 catches for 376 yards and nine scores during the regular season. He caught a 17-yard touchdown pass against Utah at Indoor Bowl III to help lead the Hounds to their second-straight national championship.

Prior to the Hounds, Willie played in both the Indoor Football League and Arena Football 2. As a member of the Madison Mad Dogs of the IFL in 2000, the former Wisconsin Badger was named First-Team All-IFL and was selected to play in the IFL Pro Bowl. Willie’s presence in Wheeling would be felt before he pulled on a Greyhounds uniform, as the Madison native scored seven touchdowns in two games against the Steel Valley Smash that season.

In 2001, “Thriller” allocated to Pensacola for a starring role with the Barracudas in AF2. Willie caught 60 balls for 695 yards and scored an immaculate 17 touchdowns.

At the University of Wisconsin, Austin played at wide receiver and was part of the Badger team that won the Big Ten Title and the Rose Bowl in 1999.

With 73 catches, Willie is just four receptions away from being the Greyhounds’ all-time receptions leader (John Cooper, 76). Austin will also be used as a defensive back this season along with his receiving duties.

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the National Indoor Football League, the Arena Football League or any of its member teams.”