Nashville Kats wide receiver Marquise Irvin has been named one of two Arena Football League players to receive the league’s inaugural “Gamebreaker” designation.

The honor goes to players who enter the league with a depth of quality experience and production on both the professional and collegiate levels and are projected to be possible stars in the new AFL.

The other inaugural AFL Gamebreaker nod went to Southwest Kansas Storm wide receiver Marcell Barbee.

A former multiple all-conference performer at Mercer and native of Huntsville, Ala., Irvin (6-3, 215) set the program record in receiving yards in a season as a junior to only break his own record the following season as a senior with 816 yards.

In 2023, Irvin signed with the Green Bay Blizzard of the Indoor Football League and was named second-team all-league and team offensive MVP with 71 catches for 886 yards and 16 touchdowns.

In 2021, Irvin signed with the Tucson Sugar Skulls of the Indoor Football League, but an injury cut that season short as well as the following season. His overall professional stats in 21 games include 78 catches for 906 yards and 13 touchdowns.

“I am so excited for Nashville Kats fans to not only watch Marquise play,” Kats coach Dean Cokinos said, “but also get to know him off the field and in the community. He’s a game changer who brings versatility and athleticism with a proven resume of production.”

Other prominent Kats signees include former Tennessee State offensive lineman Robert Lacey and former Texas A&M defensive lineman Zay Henderson.

The Kats will hold team player tryouts on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and dance team tryouts on Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., both at Lipscomb Academy. Visit for more information and/or to register.

The franchise acquired the trademark for the team to be called the Nashville Kats, a nod to its groundbreaking run with the original AFL. The Kats will play five home games at historic Municipal Auditorium in downtown Nashville with the season opener versus the Minnesota Myth slated for Saturday, April 27. The Kats will also play the Georgia Force on Saturday, May 18 at the new F&M Bank Arena in Clarksville.