Over 50 FCS players in startup AAF
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By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - The NFL season concluded with Super Bowl LIII Sunday night, but for over 50 former FCS players, football starts again this weekend with the inaugural Alliance of American Football campaign.
Many former FCS All-Americans are involved in the eight-team startup league, including two former national defensive players of the year in Montana's Tyrone Holmes (San Antonio Commanders) and Northern Iowa's Karter Schult (Salt Lake Stallions).
Other prominent players from the FCS include James Madison defensive end Andrew Ankrah (Orlando Apollos), Southeastern Louisiana linebacker Sione Teuhema and quarterbacks Peter Pujals from Holy Cross (Atlanta Legends) and Josh Woodrum from Liberty (Salt Lake Stallions).
Players believe the AAF is another chance to prove themselves to NFL teams. Every player is on a non-guaranteed three-year, $250,000 contract with incentives and an "out clause" to move on to the NFL. Plus, the schedule, which consists of a 10-week regular season and a four-team playoff concluding with the championship game April 27 in Las Vegas, ends before NFL post-draft camps begin in May.
The AAF was founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian, and its head coaches include Dennis Erickson, Mike Martz, Rick Neuheisel, Mike Riley, Steve Spurrier and Mike Singletary. Rosters developed out of an allocation system in which teams were assigned territories that included colleges, NFL teams and one CFL team.
Some key rules differences from the NFL include no TV timeouts during games (CBS, CBS Sports Network and NFL Network will broadcast games), a 30-second play clock and no kickoffs or extra-point attempts (only two-point conversions).
FCS Players on AAF Rosters
Atlanta Legends (Coach Kevin Coyle)
Khalil Bass, LB, Portland State; Tyson Graham Jr., DB, South Dakota; Garrett Hudson, TE, Richmond; Carlos Merritt, DB, Campbell; Cameron Nizialek, P, Columbia; Peter Pujals, QB, Holy Cross; Matthew Schmidt, OL, Furman
Birmingham Iron (Coach Tim Lewis)
Aaron Adeoye, DE, Southeast Missouri State; Elijah Campbell, DB, Northern Iowa; Connor Davis, TE, Stony Brook; Larson Graham, OT, Duquesne; Jacob Hagen, DB, Liberty; Shaheed Salmon, LB, Samford; Colton Schmidt, P, UC Davis
Memphis Express (Coach Mike Singletary)
Brandon Barnes, TE, Alabama State; Terrell Bonds, DB, Tennessee State; Malik Boynton, DB, Austin Peay; Dontez Byrd, WR, Tennessee Tech; Jessamen Dunker, OG, Tennessee State; Montori Hughes, DT, UT Martin; Charles James II, DB, Charleston Southern; Brandon Maiden, DB, Jackson State; Anthony Manzo-Lewis, FB, Albany; Anthony Morris, OT, Tennessee State; Robert Myers, OG, Tennessee State; Demetrius Rhaney, C, Tennessee State; Davis Tull, LB, Chattanooga
Orlando Apollos (Coach Steve Spurrier)
Kevin Anderson, QB, Fordham; Andrew Ankrah, DE, James Madison; Jerome Couplin III, LB, William & Mary; Ryan Davis Sr., DE, Bethune-Cookman; Ishmael Hyman, WR, James Madison
Arizona Hotshots (Coach Rick Neuheisel)
Siupeli Anau, DT, Northern Arizona; Jack Heneghan, QB, Dartmouth; Andrew Lauderdale, OL, New Hampshire; Jacob Ohnesorge, C, South Dakota State; Sione Teuhema, LB, Southeastern Louisiana; Alex Thompson, OL, Monmouth
Salt Lake Stallions (Coach Dennis Erickson)
Karter Schult, DE, Northern Iowa; Ed Shockley, LB, Villanova; C.J. Smith, DB, North Dakota State; Josh Woodrum, QB, Liberty
San Antonio Commanders (Coach Mike Riley)
Winston Craig, DT, Richmond; Tyrone Holmes, LB, Montana; Darnell Leslie, LB, Monmouth; Arthur Miley, DL, Southern; Joseph Zema, P, Incarnate Word
San Diego Fleet (Coach Mike Martz)
Brian Brown, WR, Richmond; Kendall James, DB, Maine; Alex Ross, QB, Coastal Carolina; Justin Williams, DB, Hampton
Updated February 4, 2019