Yes, there are Notre Dame players in the Alliance of American Football.
Life without Notre Dame football just isn’t the same, but we have good news. This past weekend, a new professional football league began play — the Alliance of American Football. The eight-team league is seen by some as newfound competition to the NFL. Of course, the AAF isn’t exactly interested in competing with the NFL, which is part of why they operate after the NFL season ends. By running reruns of the games on NFL Network, it would appear that the NFL is going to counter that, and maybe turn it into a developmental league.
More importantly than any of that, the AAF means more football. Not just that, but potentially more fun football.
The league has a unique system of a territorial draft of players, where certain college teams are tied to a certain AAF team. That AAF team has the initial, exclusive draft rights to college players from those associated teams. For instance, Tim Tebow would be draftable by the Orlando Apollos, because he went to school at Florida. Because he’s a quarterback, he may have been picked up by another team in the quarterback draft, but initially Orlando would have rights to him.
Notre Dame isn’t associated with an AAF team. At first, this seems surprising, given the amount of talent that comes out of the school. However, once you acknowledge that the AAF cares about being regionally based, it makes sense. Notre Dame isn’t close to any of the eight AAF teams.
Still, there are eight former Notre Dame players on AAF rosters. Tarean Folston, Atlanta Legends starting running back, Nyles Morgan of the Arizona Hotshots, and Ben Turk (who had the first punt in AAF history) of the Orlando Apollos lead the pack in terms of prominence. So, if you’re looking for a team, or a way to help yourself become interested in the league, starting there couldn’t hurt.
Rounding out former Irish in the AAF are Scott Daly, Greer Martini, John Montelus, Max Redfield, and Cody Riggs.
Rick Minter, from the Charlie Weis days, also finds himself in the AAF. He’s now the defensive coordinator for the Birmingham Iron. So, there’s your chance to relive a Charlie Weis defense.
For what it’s worth, it would be awesome if the AAF succeeds. Of course, it will only succeed if the fans go out to watch. More football succeeding is only a good thing for all fans. It also gives more players a chance to be professional at something they love to do.