June 19, 2023
By Evan Lepler
Throughout the 2023 season, the AUDL’s weekly honor roll will be revealed each Monday, honoring seven players whose individual exploits merit recognition. The players are listed alphabetically by last name.
Sam Berglund, Minnesota Wind Chill
With the rule change that moved the pull forward 20 yards, the AUDL wanted to make the start of every point more interesting and impactful. Mission unquestionably accomplished, and no team has capitalized on the rule change like the Minnesota Wind Chill. Behind Sam Berglund’s low, sharply angled missiles, the Wind Chill defense consistently forced Madison to start possessions deep in its own end zone, a dynamic that added stress and frustration for the Radicals’ offense over the course of four quarters on Saturday night. Berglund also tossed for a career-high 301 passing yards and five assists, including three completed hucks, as the Wind Chill D-line went 12-for-15 on break chances to help Minnesota improve to 6-1 on the season heading into this Saturday’s interdivisional showdown at Colorado.
Justin Burnett, Atlanta Hustle (Pictured)
The Dallas Legion recorded six blocks in 48 minutes on Saturday night in Atlanta. So did Justin Burnett. The 20-year-old reigning Callahan Award winner is seemingly playing with more and more confidence every week, and after officially earning two blocks against the New York Empire last week, Burnett produced six against Dallas, along with a pair of assists and season-highs in passing yards (92), receiving yards (100), and completions (13). Across the AUDL this season, only two players have produced more than five blocks in a game: Burnett and Hustle teammate Brett Hulsmeyer, who tallied his own half-dozen back in Atlanta’s season-opener against Indianapolis.
Dexter Clyburn, Oakland Spiders
There’s truly something special brewing in the East Bay, and amongst the Spiders’ exceptional youth movement, 20-year-old Dexter Clyburn has been a revelation. Oakland may have been missing their top two assist leaders in Mac Hecht and Chris Lung, but Clyburn and company ensured that the Spiders still possessed plenty of firepower against Colorado. Having never attempted more than 21 throws in any of his first four AUDL games, Clyburn went 45-for-47, throwing for 420 yards and receiving 345 more. He dazzled with several sky-scraping snags and seven assists, the last of which was a 65-yard bomb to Keenan Laurence that gave Oakland a 24-23 lead with just three seconds left.
Dylan DeClerck, Minnesota Wind Chill
It’s almost like the Wind Chill strategy was as simple as, ‘Alright, if we get the disc, Dylan’s going deep!’ In the first half alone, all while playing D-line, Dylan DeClerck caught goals that were thrown the following distances: 58 yards, 24 yards, 47 yards, 71 yards, and one more from 24. He added a 36-yarder in the second half, his sixth goal of the game, matching his career-high as part of a smothering defensive effort from the Wind Chill. The 28-year-old finished with 212 receiving yards, the most he’s ever accumulated since the league began tracking those stats in 2021.
Thomas Edmonds, DC Breeze
He went 33-for-33 with three assists and two goals, but his most important contribution came on defense in the opening moments of the fourth quarter. Montreal had narrowed a seven-goal deficit down to two, and the Royal had the disc with a chance to inch within one before Thomas Edmonds’ layout block near the end zone denied the pivotal scoring chance. Six completions later, the Breeze had marched 80 yards the other way, with Edmonds securing the bookend goal. Instead of being up just one, DC led by three and dominated the rest of the way, outscoring Montreal 8-1 in the fourth to prevail 23-14 in a game that was much dicier than a simple glance at the final score would suggest. In his last three games, Edmonds has played mistake-free disc, completing all 90 of his passes.
Keenan Laurence, Oakland Spiders
Quickly becoming one of the toughest deep threats in the entire league, Keenan Laurence’s stature as a clutch playmaker continues to grow. The fourth-year Spider delivered the epic game-winning snag to stun the Summit in the final seconds on Saturday night, but his contributions all game long were vitally necessary to securing the marquee result, a victory that truly transforms the entire perception and potential of the Oakland franchise. Through eight weeks, he’s tied for second in the AUDL in goals, while ranking fourth in plus/minus and sixth in receiving yards, all numbers that speak to his consistent impact. By the way, he just turned 22 in February.
Garrett Martin, Seattle Cascades
No one across the entire league has more assists this season than Seattle’s Garrett Martin. He tossed nine dimes in the Cascades’ comeback win over San Diego on Saturday night, then dished four more on Sunday in Los Angeles, giving him 44 on the season. His yardage numbers have also been consistently eye-popping, but he truly exploded against the Growlers, racking up 443 passing yards and 321 receiving yards, along with a career-best plus-11, which tied New York’s Jeff Babbitt, Carolina’s Joe White, and LA’s Sean McDougall for the third best plus/minus in the league this season. Pretty good company for the 25-year-old Martin, who’s also the only player in the league in the top 10 in both throwing yards and receiving yards.
2023 Weekly Honor Roll