Yesterday The Spring League released the Alphas and Aviators rosters. With game one starting in three days, let’s take a look at who is representing the Alphas.
Vad Lee (Georgia Tech/James Madison) – After bouncing around the CFL, NAL, YCL, and XFL, the former Dukes QB finds a home with the Alphas. His best season came in 2014 with the JMU Dukes, when he passed for 3,047 yards and 30 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions. In that season he received the Dudley award, beating out Taylor Heinicke and Kendall Fuller, while also being named CAA offensive player of the week three times.
Brian Lewerke (Michigan State) – A former New England Patriot and Pinstripe Bowl MVP, Lewerke is still young with a lot to prove. His best season was more recent, in 2019 with the Spartans. He threw for 2,759 yards and 16 touchdowns, and threw 12 interceptions. During that year he surpassed Connor Cook as the all-time leader in yards from scrimmage while also winning the Pinstripe Bowl and being named it’s MVP.
Brian Burt (Fresno State) – More of a special teams player at his time at Fresno State, Burt only appeared in 7 games across two seasons. The former Bulldog has potential to be a receiving back, as he was originally slated as wide receiver for Fresno State.
Blake Morgan (Wofford) – Helping the Terriers in their last four FCS playoff runs, his best season arrived in 2019 his senior year. He rushed for 751 yards, 9 TDs, on 144 attempts. Another season to note is his 2017 season, where he recorded 401 yards and a touchdown.
Jawill Davis (Bethune Cookman) – An undrafted free agent who was signed by the New York Giants back in 2018. He played in 7 games with four receptions for 40 yards and 260 total return yards, averaging 7.4 yards on 12 punt returns and 24.4 yards on seven kickoff returns.
Davis bounced around after being released, signing with the Packers, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Tampa Bay Vipers, and most recently the Toronto Argonauts. During his time with the Bethune Cookman Wildcats Davis played in 47 games, starting 29 times, over five seasons. As a redshirt sophomore, Davis caught 39 passes for 788 yards (20.2 yards per catch) with 6 touchdowns and garnered first-team All-MEAC honors. As a fifth-year senior, Davis was the team’s leading receiver, catching 36 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns.
Ka’Ronce Higgins (Southern Arkansas) – At his time with the Southern Arkansas Muleriders, Higgins recorded a total of 1,863 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns in 29 games played. His best season was in 2016 where he caught 49 passes for 715 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Jamire Jordan (Fresno State) – A brief stint on the Kansas City Chiefs training camp gave Jordan a taste of the NFL dream. The second Bulldog on the Alphas, his best season came in 2016 when he recorded 713 receivings yards and 2 touchdowns, being targeted 72 times.
Carlos Baker (Southern Utah) – A tall, underutilized receiver from Utah. Baker didn’t get many reps with the Thunderbirds, in his two years in Utah he played 12 games. In those 12 games he tallied up a total of 14 receptions for 273 yards and 1 touchdown.
Deontez Alexander (Franklin) – The former Grizzlie has spent time with the Detroit Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. During his time at FCU, he made First Team All-HCAC in 2016 and 2017 and was named First Team All-North Region by D3Football.com in 2017. His best season came in 2017 where he recorded 1,137 receiving yards in 11 games with 18 TDs.
Tevon Wright (Chadron State) – A lot of accolades for the former Chadron State Eagle. Most of which were in 2019, they included; Don Hansen Super Region 4 All-Region 2nd Team, Omaha World-Heral All-Nebraska DII Offense, Team Offensive MVP,RMAC All-Conference 1st Team Offense, RMAC Offensive Player of the Week 11/11/19. His best season came that very year with 74 receptions for 1,146 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Kristjan Sokoli (Buffalo) – Former Seattle Seahawk 6th round pick in 2015, he originally played defensive end. He bounced around the Colts, Saints, and Giants as a defensive end and an offensive lineman. He was drafted by the DC Defenders in the XFL draft. He appeared in 8 games in the 2015 season, all on special teams.
Joshua Poe (Morehead State) – In 2018, Joshua started every game at left guard and one game at left tackle. He earned an honorable mention for the All-PFL selection and was named to Phil Steele’s Postseason All-PFL Teams.
Shane Carpenter (Louisiana Tech) – Played in all 53 games during his 4 years at Louisiana Tech, he also started at left guard in the 2018 SoFi Hawaii Bowl. He recently signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Chris Schleuger (UAB) – A former Pittsburgh Steeler and Montreal Alouette, Schleuger made All-Conference USA Second Team in his senior year at UAB. In 2017 he started at left guard and helped bolster a dominate O-Line that helped a run game that averaged 183.2 rushing yards per game and tied a school record with 27 rushing touchdowns
Christian Dilauro (Illinois) – Dilauro started every single game during his time at Illinois, when he was a redshirt freshman he was named to ESPN.com’s Big Ten All-Freshman team. Since graduating he had stints with the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Michael Rodriguez (Louisiana Tech) – Played a majority of games at Louisiana with 41 games (not seeing action in only 11), he earned All-Conference USA Honorable Mention in 2018.
Brian Trujillo (New Mexico State) – Trujillo made Phil Steele’s All-Independent First Team in 2019 when he helped the Aggie’s average 217.6 passing yards per game and 143.5 rushing yards per game. He became a starter in 2017, and helped the Aggie’s boost their offense 2018 and 2019.
Gabe Holmes (Purdue) – Originally signed to the Oakland Raiders, Holmes bounced around the NFL with stints on the Seahawks, Ravens, Cardinals, and Colts until he signed to the St. Louis Battlehawks in the XFL. His best receiving season was in 2014 with Purdue when he recorded 17 receptions for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Chris Clark (UCLA/Pittsburgh/Towson) – After being utilized very little at UCLA, Clark committed to Pittsburgh where recorded 11 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers. It wasn’t until he went to Towson that he broke out, in 2019 he had 18 receptions for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Connor Strachan (Boston College) – During his time at BCU he was named to the Division I All-New England Team in 2016 and made All-ACC Third Team in 2018. His best statistical season was in 2016, when he recorded 80 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble, 3.5 sacks, and 4 fumble recoveries.
Azeem Victor (Washington) – Another 6th round draft pick, the Oakland Raiders took Victor 2018. Since than he has spent time with the Buccaneers, Seahawks, before moving to the AAF with the Orlando Apollos and than the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. Playing for the Huskies, Victor was a first-team all-Pac-12 selection in 2016 after posting 67 tackles.
Shaun McGee (Georgia/Tuskegee) – McGee played and started in 9 games in his first season at Tuskegee. He had 4 QB hurries, 24 tackles, two tackles for a loss in his 2018 season with the Golden Tigers.
Josh Avery (Southern Missouri State) – Josh Avery signed with the Seattle Seahawks last year after the 2020 draft. During his time as a Redhawk, he recorded 41 total tackles, 7 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks in 23 games.
Nasir Player (East Tennessee State) – Garnered a spot on four postseason All-American teams: HERO Sports All-American Second Team, STATS FCS All-American Second Team, AFCA FCS Coaches’ All-America Second Team and the Phil Steele All-American Fourth Team.
He was recognized as the Phil Steele Preseason SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and named to Phil Steele FCS Preseason First Team All-SoCon and All-American. He finished the 2019 season with 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks for the Bucs which lead the team. Player finished his time at ETSU ranking 5th in school history for most tackles for a loss with 40.
Adam Shuler (Florida) – During his two years with the Gators, Shuler recorded 69 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks, 1 pass deflection, and a fumble recovery.
Chris Okeye (Ferris State) – In 10 games for the Bulldogs Okeye recorded 17 tackles, a sack and tackle for loss. He helped lead the Bulldogs to 4 consecutive Division 2 playoff appearances. He was chosen for the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society for his work on and off the field. He has since spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Spokane Shock of the IFL.
Youhanna Ghaifan (Wyoming) – For the Wyoming Cowboys Ghaifan was named First Team All-Mountain West in 2017 for his dominant season. In 2017 he recorded 69 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles all in 12 games. Following the 2019 draft he signed with the Washington Football Team. Along with the Alphas, Ghaifan is on the active roster for the Massachusetts Pirates in the Indoor Football League.
Eric Assoua (Western Michigan) – The best year for Assoua for the Western Michigan Broncos was 2016. He recorded 47 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, a pass deflection, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. He played in all 14 games, starting 9 of them.
Gabe Richardson (Arkansas) – In 2019, Richardson recorded at least 1 tackle for a loss in the first five games. He ended that season with 33 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.
JoJo Tillery (Wofford) – Scooped up by the Tennessee Titans back in 2019, he played primarily the Safety position. His best season for the Terriers was in 2018, where he had 49 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, a sack, three interceptions, and 9 passes deflected.
Shamar Busby (Southeastern LA) – After college Busby went to the Canadian Football League, playing with the Redblacks and the Roughriders. In 2017 he played 9 games for the Southeastern LA Lions recording 25 total tackles, 5 passes deflected, 1 tackle for a loss, and 1 forced fumble.
Cornelius Sturghill (Louisville) – Across 31 games for the Louisville Cardinals Sturghill had 60 total tackles, 7 passes deflected, and a single interception. In 2018 he started 11 games in the season.
Dravious Wright (NC State) – In 2015 he started every game as a Nickel Corner and has more starts than any other returning player. He earned the team’s Bo Rein Award for his contributions. In 2017 he signed with the Los Angeles Rams.
Mandell Ray (Morehead State) – Coached by the legendary Champ Bailey ahead of the 2019 NFL draft, Ray went undrafted before signing with the Raiders.
Malik Davis (Austin Peay State) – A Free Safety that attended the Chicago Bears minicamp in 2019. During his time at Austin Peay State, he recorded 155 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 4 interceptions, 13 passes deflected, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Mazi Wilkins (USF) – Wilkins debuted in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Jacksonville Jaguars where he recorded two tackles in the 28-11 win. During his time at South Florida he had 110 total tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 22 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery, 3 interceptions, and half a sack.
Taeron Brown (Pikeville) – In his 2019 season with the Pikeville Bears, Brown recorded 78 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 interceptions, and 7 pass deflections.
Nathan Hierlihy (Redlands) – Part of an undefeated Bulldogs team in 2016, he won the title with the team. Hierlihy helped the Bulldogs move onto the NCAA playoffs and ended their season with a national ranking of No. 25. He is 15-21 on Field Goals, 33-34 on Point After Attempts, earning a total of 78 points. He even racked up 11 punts for 493 yards, 67 yards being his longest.
The Alphas take on the Aviators this Thursday at 7pm EST on FS1.
The post The Spring League: Alphas 2021 Spring Roster Breakdown first appeared on XFL News Hub.