The inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football begins on February 9, and four of the eight teams will be in action. The Atlanta Legends face the Orlando Apollos, while the San Diego Fleet take on the San Antonio Commanders. Both teams have a collection of payers who have and haven’t been in the NFL. Some of these players were college football stars. Here are a few to look out for on opening night.
Players To Watch on AAF Opening Night
Aaron Murray, QB, Atlanta Legends:
Murray played quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs in college and was impressive during his time. Murray had four straight 3,000 yard, 20+ touchdown seasons at Georgia. He was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft. Murray didn’t end up a starter in the NFL, but now has a chance in the AAF to show his skills. With Michael Vick as his offensive coordinator, Murray will have a dynamic offense to run for the Legends.
Denard Robinson, RB, Atlanta Legends:
Robinson is a very dynamic player that will be fun to watch for Atlanta. Robinson played quarterback for four seasons at Michigan where he became known for his running skills. He is very reminiscent of his offensive coordinator Michael Vick. Robinson rushed for over 4,000 yards in his three seasons as a starter and over 35 touchdowns. This was all done as a quarterback. Robinson went into the 2013 NFL draft as a running back and was selected in the fifth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Robinson played four seasons in the NFL ending his career with five touchdowns, now he will look to use his dynamic ability to dominate in the AAF.
Garrett Gilbert, QB, Orlando Apollos:
Gilbert had a rocky college career that ended well in his two seasons at SMU. He totaled 6,400 yards and 36 touchdowns in those two seasons. Gilbert was drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft by the then St. Louis Rams. Gilbert was apart of five different NFL franchises from 2014 to 2018, most recently with the Carolina Panthers, but only threw three career attempts. All three came in 2018 for Carolina. Gilbert will look to use the potential he never had a chance to show in the NFL during his AAF career in Orlando.
David Cobb, RB, San Antonio Commanders:
Cobb had a successful career at the University of Minnesota rushing for 2,800 yards and 20 touchdowns in two seasons as a starter. In the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft, the Tennessee Titans selected Cobb. He had 146 yards and one touchdown in his rookie season. After the 2015 NFL season Cobb was released by Tennessee. Cobb would land practice squad jobs with Pittsburgh and Chicago before his NFL career was over. Cobb still has a lot to offer a franchise and San Antonio could rely on him to make big plays for them this season.
Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego Fleet:
Escobar has the most successful resume on this list in terms of NFL success. Escobar had good numbers in college playing for San Diego State. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. Escobar played four season for Dallas totaling 333 yards and eight touchdowns. Escobar will return to San Diego to play for the Fleet and use his NFL experience to aid their passing attack. He can run block as well, which will help the Fleet’s offense. Escobar could emerge as a leader on his new team.
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