CEDAR RAPIDS — Shortly after returning from an arduous but victorious bus ride home from Wichita Falls, Texas, Sam Durley is on the move again.
The first-year Cedar Rapids Titans quarterback received a phone call from the New Orleans VooDoo of the Arena Football League on Sunday with a contract offer.
“Definitely very excited,” Durley said. “A lot of mixed feelings, but mostly excited and ready to get going. It will be a big change and in a hurry. I’ve just got to thank everything before this situation. Cedar Rapids is a great team and a great organization.”
Durley led the Titans to a 6-3 record, throwing for 1,384 yards and 27 touchdowns with eight interceptions. Saturday night at Wichita Falls, he tossed three touchdown passes in Cedar Rapids’ 63-40 win.
After posting good numbers for a now-defunct 1-13 Wyoming Calvary team in 2014, Durley felt fortunate to land in Cedar Rapids with a veteran coach like Mark Stoute and his roster of talented veterans.
“Without them, there’s no way that I’d be moving up,” Durley said. “I learned a lot from both the coaches and the veteran players. I ended up in a good situation and it worked out for me.”
Durley will be reunited with Ryan Lingenfelder, his head coach at Wyoming and the current offensive line coach in New Orleans. In March, New Orleans invited Durley to its training camp without the guarantee of a contract, so he elected at the time to stick with the sure thing in Cedar Rapids. He’s expected to suit up and be the backup quarterback this weekend for the VooDoo.
Durley heads to New Orleans with high praise for the fans of the Titans and Cedar Rapids.
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“Absolutely loved it,” Durley said. “The home atmosphere at the games, the fans, the people in the city were awesome.”
Willie Copeland will likely step in and replace Durley at quarterback. Copeland was a member of the Titans expansion season in 2012 and is the reigning Indoor Football League MVP after throwing for 2,376 yards and 56 touchdowns for the Colorado Ice last season.
After sustaining an injury early in the season, Copeland was placed on the “Refused to Report” list and therefore was not eligible to play until this weekend after being traded to Cedar Rapids April 13.
“He’s been in practice the last three weeks,” Durley said. “Anyone who is a reigning IFL MVP who has been around for awhile and played as well as he has, (there’s) no doubt in my mind that he can be the guy to take them all the way this year.”
Cedar Rapids hosts Wichita Falls (3-5) this Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Center.
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