The Alabama football season is over and recruiting has wrapped up but that doesn’t mean fans have to wait until spring to see some Crimson Tide football.
Ten former Alabama players dot the roster for the Birmingham Iron, which will compete in the newly formed Alliance of American Football.
The Iron kicks off its season Sunday at Legion Field against the Memphis Express at 3 p.m.
The eight-team league was formed in March 2018 and founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. The Atlanta Legends, the Orlando Apollos, the Iron and the Express make up the Eastern Conference. The Arizona Hotshots, the Salt Lake Stallions, the San Antonio Commanders and the San Diego Fleet are the Western Conference.
Some big-time Crimson Tide alums are on the Iron roster, including running back Trent Richardson, a first-round NFL draft pick in 2012, and quarterback Blake Sims.
Richardson played four years in the NFL, totaling more than 2,000 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. After a short hiatus from football, he landed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.
Now, he’s back in Alabama and playing for a team with a Crimson Tide feel to it. Also on offense for the Iron are former UA offensive linemen J.C. Hassenauer, Dominick Jackson, Korren Kirven and Brandon Greene. Defensive lineman Josh Frazier, linebacker Xzavier Dickson and defensive back Bradley Sylve are former Crimson Tide players on defense. Former Alabama long snapper Cole Mazza is on special teams.
Folks from Tuscaloosa will recognize a name on the Memphis roster, too. Former Bibb County High School player Zac Stacy, who also starred at Vanderbilt and played a few years in the NFL, will be at running back for the Express.
A few former Auburn players are also playing for the Iron, including one Alabama fans would like to forget. Chris Davis, who returned a kickoff 100 yards for the winning score against Alabama in 2013, is at defensive back for the Iron. Also from Auburn are Quan Bray (WR), Avery Young (OL), Ryan White (DB) and Trovon Reed (DB).
The will be some slight differences in the AAF rules and NFL rules fans should be made aware of before tuning in this season.
Here are a few rule differences:
• There won’t be any kickoffs. The winner of the coin toss will elect to start the game with possession or defer to the second half.
• The AAF’s play clock is 35 seconds instead of the NFL’s 40-second clock.
• There are no TV timeouts and fewer commercials, which will reduce overall game time.
• Overtime allows both teams to have the ball once, first-and-goal from the 10. Teams have to score a touchdown and go for two points. Field goals are not allowed. Games can end in a tie after the overtime period.
• There are no extra-point attempts after touchdowns, only two-point conversions.