No rookie in AFL history has won Wide Receiver of the Year. That is until this season. Malachi Jones is a shoo-in to win Rookie of the Year, but he's one-upped even himself. Jones has been the breakout star of not only this receiving corps in Albany, but across the league. Empire head coach Rob Keefe said early on that fans should get as close a look as they can at the Appalachian State grad because NFL teams could certainly come calling.

On Thursday morning, Jones was named AFL Receiver of the Year, a product of a season in which he leads the league in receiving yards while ranking second in touchdowns and all-purpose yards. Teamed up with Joe Hills, who won the award the past two seasons, the Empire's passing game has been unstoppable; especially when you throw in other big time contributors Greg Carr and Collin Taylor.

Jones and company are gearing up for Saturday's second game in the home and home playoff series with Washington and there will be more hardware coming to the franchise in its first year. Players of the year on both sides of the ball, MVP, coach of the year and front office of the year could easily be taken home by the Empire.

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