Tuesday night was the inaugural Alliance of American Football’s “Protect or Pick” quarterback draft. Among the coaches in the league is Steve Spurrier, former Gator football coach, who brought some former Gators to his Orlando Apollos football team.
What is the Alliance of American Football?
The Alliance of American Football, or the AAF, was co-founded by former NFL general manager Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol. The league features eight teams, including the Arizona Hotshots, Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet.
The 2019 Schedule
The 2019 inaugural season features 10 weeks, with four games each week on Saturdays and Sundays. Things will kick off on February 9 and will run until April 14. However, the playoffs and championship dates have yet to be decided.
The 2019 draft featured four rounds with the following draft order:
- San Diego Fleet
- Birmingham Iron
- Arizona Hotshots
- Orlando Apollos
- Atlanta Legends
- Salt Lake Stallions
- Memphis Express
- San Antonio Commanders
One unique aspect of the draft is that players generally go to the AAF team that correlates geographically with the college they attended. For example, if a former college player attended UCF, they would most likely go to the Orlando Apollos.
In the draft, if a team wishes to secure a player that comes from a college in their area, the team can choose to “protect” that player. This means that another team would not be able to “pick” them, which is when a team with no geographical connection with a player drafts them. However, teams are only allowed to protect players in the First Round of the draft.
Draft “protects” and “picks”
- Round 1 PICK: Garrett Gilbert, Texas/SMU
- Round 2 PICK: Stephen Morris, Miami
- Round 3 PICK: Austin Appleby, Florida/Purdue
- Round 4 PICK: Kevin Anderson, Fordham
— AAF (@TheAAF) November 28, 2018
Former Gators on the roster
- Austin Appleby, QB
- Josh Evans, DB
- Drew Ferris, LS
- Frankie Hammond, WR
- Mark Herndon, RB
- Will Hill, DB
- Earl Okine, DE
- Leon Orr, DT
- Ronald Powell, LB
- Joseph Putu, DB
- Kelvin Taylor, RB
Unveiling of uniforms
In addition to the draft, pictures of the uniforms for the inaugural season have been released by the AAF. The Orlando Apollos’ colors include the familiar blue and orange that Spurrier represented for many years. They are, however, different from the blue and orange of the Gators.
The 2019 uniforms can be viewed here.