Flight Re-Sign Lineman Wondell Rutledge
TRENTON - The Jersey Flight today have announced the re-signing of offensive lineman Wondell Rutledge. Rutledge played at the University of Toledo before his professional arena football career began in 2012.
“It’s always good to have veterans in the locker room who we are familiar with,” head coach Terrence Foster said. “He knows our coaching staff and coaching styles. I look forward to having Wondell not only for his talent on the field, but his ability to positively impact the community as well,” Foster said.
Rutledge's first opportunity in arena football was just a few hours from his hometown of Lampasas, Texas. He was a member of the Allen Wranglers, formerly of the Indoor Football League. Former NFL all-pro wide receiver Terell Owens was involved with the team as an owner and player for a brief time.
Rutledge went on to sign with the Tampa Bay Storm later that year. He has been an ironman player for a majority of his career, playing on both sides of the ball. With the Storm Rutledge played fullback rushing 11 times for 28 yards, as well as playing defensive line recording six tackles and a fumble recovery.
Rutledge took a drive on I-4 from Tampa Bay to Orlando when he joined the Predators in 2013. Rutledge continued to play both sides of the ball, rushing for three touchdowns as a fullback and contributing on the defensive line. During his time in Orlando Rutledge was coached by Chicago Bears legend Doug Plank and played alongside the AFL’s all time leading passer Aaron Garcia.
Rutledge returned to Texas in 2014 when he joined the San Antonio Talons. With the Talons Rutledge played mostly center, but continued to contribute as a defensive lineman, recording his first sack in the AFL.
Rutledge was drafted by the Qingdao Clippers of the Chinese Arena Football League. Along with the rest of the CAFL, Rutledge traveled to six different cities in China during the fall of 2016. Rutledge and the Qingdao Clippers lost to the Beijing Lions in the inaugural China Bowl, in front of a crowd of nearly 30,000 fans. Rutledge was the Clippers starting center.
In 2017 Rutledge signed with the Duke City Gladiators, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to playing center, he saw time at offensive guard with Duke City. Rutledge started 15 games and did not allow a sack. Duke City’s quarterback was named the CIF’s MVP that season.
Rutledge has continued his career in recent years with the Florida Tarpons, Cedar Rapids Titans, and the Bismarck Bucks. He most recently was a member of the Oklahoma City Ace’s.
“It’s been worth it, just the experience of all the people I got to meet,” Rutledge said in a 2019 interview with his hometown newspaper the Lampasas Dispatch Record. “Even though it’s a sport, it’s a game, it teaches you life lessons. When you’ve been playing since you were a little kid, that itch, it’s hard to turn off,” Rutledge said.
The Jersey Flight are a professional Arena Football team based in Trenton, New Jersey. The Flight are a member of the National Arena League (NAL). Home games are played at Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton. The team is owned by New Flight Enterprises, LLC. Follow the team @JerseyFlight on Instagram & Facebook, and @JerseyFlightFB on Twitter.