Alliance of American Football – Players to Watch

The Alliance of American Football kicks off this weekend and as Americans, we all win. More football? Sign me up for it.

For a rundown on why were excited for this league to start up check out Joe’s write up on the league earlier this week.

Follow us @Wingspansports for all your AAF blogs, stories and live reactions throughout the year.

The league has former NFL players, practice squad hopefuls, and former FBS and FCS players who are just looking for one last shot at getting into the league.

Let’s take a run down of the notable players playing in the league.

Quarterbacks:

Aaron Murray – Atlanta Legends – Former Georgia Bulldog

Blake Sims – Birmingham Iron – Former Alabama Crimson Tide QB and starter for Alabama’s 2014 season.

Zach Mettenberger – Memphis Express – Mettenberger has made 10 NFL starts during his time with the Tennessee Titans. With career stats of 2,347 passing yards, 60.3 completion percentage, 12 Touchdowns and 14 interceptions, Mettenberger is one of the most experienced QB’s in the AAF.

Garrett Gilbert – Orlando Apollos – best known for replacing Colt McCoy for Texas in the National Championship game back in 2009, Gilbert ended up transferring and was the starter over at SMU for two seasons. Gilbert had brief cup of coffee with the Carolina Panthers in 2018 seeing game action and competing 2 of 3 passes for 40 yards.

Trevor Knight – Arizona Hotshots – Former Oklahoma Sooner and Texas A&M stand out.

Logan Woodside – San Antonio Commanders – Toledo’s all time passing leader in yards (10,399) and passing touchdowns (93).

Running Backs:

Denard Robinson – Atlanta Legends – The revival of Denard Robinson should be awesome to watch. Over a four year career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Robinson rushed 1,041 yards on 259 attempts (4.0 YPC) and scored 5 touchdowns. He also had 47 receptions for 310 yards.

Akrum Wadley – Atlanta Legends – Back to back 1,000 yard seasons while playing for Iowa.

Trent Richardson – Birmingham Iron – The return of T-Rich! Former third overall pick of the Cleveland Browns who flamed out after a brief NFL career. Over 4 seasons, Richardson had 2,032 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.

Akeem Hunt – Orlando Apollos – Three NFL seasons with the Cheifs and Texans, Hunt had 45 carries for 228 yards. Hunt added 13 catches for 99 yards in the passing game but was mostly a special teamer in the NFL.

Larry Rose III – Arizona Hotshots – Former New Mexico State Aggie who rushed for 4,588 yards and 37 touchdowns in college. Rose III helped the school break a 57 year bowl game drought and was a Third Team All American in 2015.

Matt Asiata – Salt Lake Stallions – Asiata was a useful player with the Vikings over his five year career rushing for 1,259 yards and 18 touchdowns. Mostly a goal line and short yardage back, Asiata also was a good receiving back with 101 career catches for 722 yards

Branden Oliver – Salt Lake Stallions – Over three seasons with the Chargers, Oliver had 773 rushing yards and 409 receiving yards. Fantasy owners know he saved seasons back in 2014.

Wide Receivers:

Justin Thomas – Atlanta Legends – Former Georgia Tech triple option QB making the transition to playing wide receiver.

Quinton Patton – Birmingham Iron – Former 49er who over four NFL seasons had 73 receptions for 880 yards and 1 touchdown.

Charles Johnson – Orlando Apollos – Former wide out for the Minnesota Vikings, Johnson during his three year tenure had 60 catches for 834 yards and three scores.

Jalin Marshall – Orlando Apollos – At Ohio State, his breakaway speed was unbelievable. It never transitioned much to the NFL as drops and injuries hampered his career with the Jets.

Josh Huff – Arizona Hot Shots – Former Oregon Duck speedster and over a three year stint with the Eagles and Buccaneers, Huff had 44 receptions for 435 yards and four touchdowns.

Kaelin Clay – Salt Lake Stallions – career special teamer who’s bounced around practice squads and had brief stints on multiple NFL rosters.

Greg Ward Jr. – San Antonio Commanders – Former Houston QB who made a ton of plays with his legs. A try out at receiver in the AAF can open up future NFL opportunities.
Tight Ends:

Adrien Robinson – Memphis Express – Former fourth round pick with the New York Giants, Robinson’s NFL career flamed out quick finishing with just 5 catches for yards and 1 touchdown.

Austin Traylor – Salt Lake Stallions – Former Wisconsin Badger who player 1 NFL season with the Denver Broncos in 2017 totaling 8 catches for 100 yards

Gavin Escobar – San Diego Fleet – Former Dallas Cowboy who over 4 seasons in Dallas had 30 catches for 333 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Defensive Lineman:

Devin Taylor – Birmingham Iron – Five year NFL veteran with the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, Taylor is one of the more experienced players in the league. Taylor’s NFL career totals included 93 tackles, 15 sacks, a safety, and 4 forced fumbles.

Montori Hughes – Memphis Express – Played four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants, Hughes is a run stopping DT. His four year stint included 23 tackles and 1 pass deflection.

Ryan Davis – Orlando Apollos – Played six seasons with the Jaguars, Cowboys, and Bills. Davis career NFL stats are 64 total tackles, 14 sacks, 3 pass deflections, an interception, and four forced fumbles.

Will Sutton – Arizona Hot Shots – A big, run stopping defensive tackle who played three seasons with the Chicago Bears. Sutton had 60 tackles and seven pass deflections.

Sealver Siliga – Salt Lake Stallions – A Super Bowl 49 champion, Siliga played seven seasons with the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks, and Buccaneers. Siliga finished with 102 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.

Mike Purcell – Salt Lake Stallions – Three year player with the 49ers, Purcell had 29 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble during his time in the Bay area.

Damontre Moore – San Diego Fleet – Moore probably is probably one of the more talented players in the league but character issues and injuries forced him to bounce around the league after being a third round pick of the Giants. Over 6 seasons, Moore had 83 tackles and 10 career sacks.

Linebackers:

Jonathan Massaquoi – Birmingham Iron – Three NFL seasons with the Falcons, Massaquoi had 70 tackles, 6 sacks, and 2 pass deflections.

Terence Garvin – Orlando Apollos – Six NFL seasons, Garvin had 78 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Obum Gwacham – Arizona Hot Shots – former New Orleans Saint and New York Jet, Gwacham had 2.5 sacks and fumble recovery during his NFL stint.

Steven Johnson – Arizona Hot Shots – Seven year NFL veteran with the Broncos, Titans, Steelers, and Ravens, Johnson has played in 76 NFL games. His NFL career included 68 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries.

Scooby Wright – Arizona Hot Shots – a former unanimous All American at Arizona and winner of the Bronko Nagurski award back in 2014.

Jay Elliot – San Antonio Commanders – Three seasons with the Green Bay Packers totaling 57 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 interception, and a forced fumble.

Joel Lanning – San Antonio Commanders – Former first team All American in 2017 while playing for Iowa State

A.J Tarpley – San Diego Fleet – Played one season with the Bills in 2015 recording 8 tackles, a sack, and 2 interceptions.

Defensive Backs:

Ed Reynolds – Atlanta Legends – Played one season with the Eagles in 2015 and one with the Browns in 2016 season. Reynolds totaled 64 tackles, 2 pass deflections, and an interception.

Chris Davis – Birmingham Iron – Best known for his “Kick Six” return that stunned Alabama in the 2013 Iron Bowl, Davis has been mostly a special teamer in the NFL. In three seasons with the Chargers and 49ers, Davis had 19 tackles, 0.5 sack, a pass deflection, and 609 total return yards.

Trovon Reed – Birmingham Iron – played one season with the Chargers in 2016 and had 14 tackles, 3 pass deflections, and 2 interceptions.

Charles James – Memphis Express – Best known for being a fan favorite on Hard Knocks in 2015 and being buddies with Odell Beckham Jr, James has played with Giants, Texans, and Colts over his 4 year career.

Josh Evans – Orlando Apollos – One of the more experienced DB’s in the AAF, Evans had 202 tackles, 5 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble during his three year tenure with the Jaguars. Evans started 37 games for the Jaguars.

Will Hill – Orlando Apollos – Hill may be one of the best players in the entire league. Having played two seasons each with the Giants and Ravens, Hill had 221 tackles, 1 sack, 14 pass deflections, 4 interceptions (2 returned for TD’s), and three forced fumbles. Hill had 32 career starts in the NFL.

Dexter McDougle – Arizona Hot Shots – Four NFL seasons with the Jets, Eagles, and Saints, McDougle had 18 tackles and 2 pass deflections.

Rahim Moore – Arizona Hot shots – maybe best known for the wrong reason when he allowed the Joe Flacco bomb to Jacoby Jones get over his head that led to the go ahead score for the Ravens that punched Baltimore’s berth to the Super Bowl. Moore still had 54 NFL starts and totaled 212 tackles, a sack, 22 pass deflections, and 9 interceptions.

Sterling Moore – Arizona Hot Shots – everyone remembers the play when Moore knocked the ball out of Lee Evans hand which caused the fourth down that propelled New England to win over the Ravens in the AFC Championship. Moore played 8 NFL seasons and totaled 186 tackles, 40 pass deflections, and 6 interceptions (1 returned for a TD).

Steve Williams – Salt Lake Stallions – three seasons with the Chargers and recorded two interceptions in the 2015 seasons.

Ron Brooks – San Diego Fleet – Four seasons with the Buffalo Bills and one with the Eagles, Brooks had 88 tackles and 8 pass deflections.

Special Teams:

Younghoe Koo – Atlanta Legends – went 3-for-6 on Field Goal attempts with the Chargers in 2017. Longest made kick was 41 yards.

Nick Novak – Birmingham Iron – 10 year NFL kicker whos made 182-for-222 on his Field Goal attempts (82%). Longest made kick was 53 yards.

Brad Wing – Memphis Express – played one season with Steelers and three with the New York Giants. Best known for being buds with Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry.

Nick Folk – Arizona Hot Shots – 11 year NFL veteran who played with the Cowboys, Jets, and Buccaneers. Folk was 245-for-305 on his attempts (80.3%) ans was a pro bowler in 2007.

Nick Rose – San Antonio Commanders – spilt the 2017 season with the Chargers and Redskins making 10 of his 11 kicks. Longest make was from 55 yards.

 

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