Vince’s View: “The Alliance” football league begins with plenty of U. of Tennessee player and coach representation

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

Less than a week after the NFL season ended with Sunday’s Super Bowl, a new football league with new opportunities for players begins on Saturday, the Alliance of American Football.

Here are the former University of Tennessee (VFL) players on the final 52-player rosters for each team. Geography is a factor in player placement, as you will see below. I also included guys with local ties.

Atlanta Legends
4 Matt Simms   QB   6-3, 209   Tennessee

Memphis Express
34 Rajion Neal   RB   5-11, 212   Tennessee
81 Alton “Pig” Howard   WR   5-8, 186   Tennessee
67 Dallas Thomas   OG   6-5, 314   Tennessee
98 Corey Vereen   DE   6-2, 248   Tennessee
45 Colton Jumper   LB   6-2, 228   Tennessee
33 Justin Martin   DB   6-1, 195   Tennessee
95 Montori Hughes   DT   6-4, 349   Tennessee-Martin (previous at Tennessee)
55 Davis Tull   LB   6-3, 239   Chattanooga (Bearden HS in Knoxville)

The Memphis players will be coached by Mike Singletary. Matt Simms in Atlanta will be coached by Kevin Coyle.

There are also five coaches on current staffs that have coached at the University of Tennessee, including both coordinators in San Diego.

Mike DeBord (OC) San Diego Fleet
Larry Marmie (DC) San Diego Fleet
Gerald Brown (RB) Birmingham Iron
Ray Hamilton (DL) Birmingham Iron
Steve Marshall (OL) Memphis Express

In total, there are 7 former Vols in the league, plus a one-time Vol and 5 previous assistants at Tennessee. There is also one Knoxville-area product that did not play at UT.

The Alliance begins its 12-week season, Saturday, February 9, 2019. The Championship game will be held the weekend of April 26-28. The league was founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian.

Here is the broadcast schedule to help you find the games for the inaugural season of The Alliance.

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