Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pennsylvania A11FL team would have some homegrown talent, need to branch out


Today is the latest in a series of stories about potential A11 Football League players, by state, using a regional approach. The players are taken from a list of free agents from thesidelineview.com on October 7, and doesn’t reflect any changes in status that may have occurred since then.

It is easy to get stuck in the minutia of putting together a new professional football league – where is the money going to come from, where is the television contract going to come from, where will the teams be, etc.

All of that is for the leaders of the A11 Football League to continue to work on. The fun part is thinking ahead – who might be the players who will fill the rosters of the eight A11FL teams come the spring of 2015? We don’t know who will be available when players begin to be acquired, but we know who’s available now.

So let’s take a look at some players the Pennsylvania-based A11FL team might want to pick up:

The pickings for quarterback from Pennsylvania-based colleges are slim, which means the team would have to go to surrounding states for help. Ex-Pitt Panther Tino Sunseri is in the Canadian Football League, and isn’t the mobile run-pass threat another current CFLer is – Josh Portis from California (Pa.).

Looking to the running game, there is one available player who was a Penn State quarterback and a National Football League fullback – Michael Robinson. A former Pro Bowler, Robinson hasn’t run the ball much in his pro career (114 attempts in seven seasons), but has caught 73 passes, thrown two passes, returned 30 kickoffs and made 75 total tackles on special teams. Another CFLer – Tim Brown (Temple) – would be a very good run/catch/return option.

At wide receiver, former Nittany Lion Deon Butler caught 36 passes for four touchdowns three years ago for the Seattle Seahawks, while fellow Penn Stater Jordan Norwood caught 23 passes for the Cleveland Browns just two years ago.

In the defensive front seven, one player who could use the A11FL as a redemption shot is ex-Penn State end/outside linebacker Aaron Maybin. A former first-round pick in the NFL, Maybin made just one start over four seasons with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, recording six sacks (all in 2011), 36 total tackles and five forced fumbles.

There will be plenty of high-quality talent for every A11FL team to choose from when the time comes. Pennsylvania’s football fans will have some homegrown talent to root for one the ball is kicked off in the spring of 2015, and depending on who would be available by then, the team might need help from surrounding states like Ohio and West Virginia to fill out the majority of the roster.

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