The Utah Blaze have enlisted the services of former Spokane Shock WR Shaun Kauleinamoku just days prior to their Friday, May 4 division rivalry game against the Shock in the Arena Football League. Additionally, the Blaze claimed former Pittsburgh Power WR Lonnell Dewalt off of waivers.
Kauleinamoku (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) played college football for Western Oregon before entering the Arena Football League in 2010 with the Shock. While playing for current Blaze offensive coordinator Matthew Saulk, Kauleinamoku and the Shock won ArenaBowl XXIII. Kauleinamoku hauled in 30 receptions for 441 yards and 10 touchdowns that year while also returning four kickoffs for 69 yards.
He returned to Spokane in 2011, posting 52 receptions for 596 yards and 15 touchdowns in 12 games. In one game with the San Antonio Talons this season, he caught a pass for five yards and returned four kickoffs for 45 yards.
"We are excited to sign Shaun," said Blaze president and head coach Ron James through a press release. "He is a speedy, talented wide receiver who is very familiar with our offensive system. We feel fortunate to find a player of his caliber available at this point of the season and are anxious to see him in a Blaze uniform."
The Blaze also claimed Dewalt (6-foot-6, 225 pounds, Kentucky) off of waivers on May 1 after the Power activated him from league suspension and placed him on reassignment on April 30.
In 17 games with the Power last season, Dewalt caught 45 passes for 489 yards and 21 touchdowns in addition to tallying 53 total tackles, including one for a loss, four interceptions, four pass break-ups, a fumble recovery, and two forced fumbles on defense. The interception and forced fumble totals tied for the team high, while his tackle total ranked third on the squad.
Dewalt only suited up for three games with the Power in 2012, including the infamous season opener against the Orlando Predators. In those three games, he caught 11 passes for 151 yards and four touchdowns, and he returned a kickoff for 38 yards.
Adam Markowitz of ArenaFan.com reported on April 11 that Dewalt left the team, perhaps after finding life in the locker room difficult due to his participation in the Predators game. Now all the way across the country, he'll get a chance at a fresh start with the Blaze.
The Blaze (5-2) host the Shock (3-3) on Friday, May 4. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. Salt Lake City time and 6 p.m. Spokane time. The game will be broadcast on Ustream.