Beyond The Bowls: LSU, UCF players aware of The Alliance’s benefits
By Jose M. Romero
PHOENIX — As LSU and Central Florida prepared for the Fiesta Bowl last week, a number of seniors set to play their final collegiate game weren’t thinking much beyond New Year’s Day.
Now that the calendar has flipped to 2019 and LSU’s 40-32 victory over UCF is in the books, players from both teams hope to continue their football careers. And that opportunity is even better with the emergence of the Alliance of American Football.
LSU’s players could get a shot with the Memphis Express in 2019. UCF players who remain on campus after the bowl game might be watching their future teammates, the Orlando Apollos, at the facility the Knights share with the Alliance team, Spectrum Stadium.
“That is really cool,” Tigers offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield said about The Alliance. “Reading the rules and how they have things set up, I think it’ll really work. The infrastructure that they have in place at the top, the way that they’re doing the regional recruiting, I feel like they’re blending some of the best pieces from different parts of football and putting them together to make a great brand of football.”
Brumfield has taken the time to read up on The Alliance, and while he said it’s every player’s dream to play in the NFL, it doesn’t happen for everybody. The Alliance’s exit plan and three-year contracts appeal to Brumfield.
LSU tight end Foster Moreau believes the caliber of Alliance football will be enhanced by the opportunity to continue to get paid for playing the game.
“You’re going to have some elite athletes, some superior guys actually going to make some real money in a separate league other than the NFL,” Moreau said, “kind of taking away from the notion that it’s kind of a one-shot deal that football players have.”
Moreau feels The Alliance will get the right type of athletes. He said it isn’t as much an alternative or a backup plan as it is a place for players to develop and who perhaps weren’t given enough opportunity to showcase their ability.
“It’s going to work out really well for a lot of guys,” Moreau said. “I’m excited to try my hand at the NFL and see how well I can do, but if that’s not there, I’d love to go play for The Alliance.”
UCF coach Josh Heupel said The Alliance has an opportunity to be a great brand with so many big names with local ties coaching and building the various teams.
“It can fill a niche of that springtime when there’s not a lot of football,” Heupel said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.”
Like many of the players the Alliance spoke with, Knights tight end Michael Colubiale is familiar with several players now in the Alliance. He feels the league can prove that football can succeed year-round.
“It gives guys an extra chance to go out and prove themselves and have some fun, and make some money,” Colubiale said. “That’s definitely an opportunity that myself and especially the other seniors in my situation would take advantage of.”