The Spring League launched their inaugural season back in 2017 in West Virginia before the league, consisting of six teams total with all of them practicing and playing in one centralized location, moved to Austin Texas for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Back in March, the league played a handful of games in Las Vegas.
Despite the name, the league is playing a total of 12 games over a four week span this fall in front of no fans to help players showcase their abilities with the hopes of getting a shot in the NFL. The average age of players in the league is 24 years old.
Just a few nights ago, The Spring League made their debut on Fox Sports 1 in a match up that pitted former Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson against former Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett.
The former Michigan quarterback was able to engineer a win over the former Buckeye quarterback in the match up.
Looking at the stats for quarterbacks after their first games, the league looks to be getting some good, efficient quarterback play early on in this fall season, which may be a good sign of quality football on display.
Players are truly betting on themselves in choosing to participate. The league charges a $2,100 "Registration Fee" and provides housing and food with no additional compensation beyond that.
While the average age of players is young, the coaching staffs are led by veterans with NFL experience.
The head coaches will seem familiar to most reading this.
- Alphas - Steve Fairchild - Former Colorado State head coach (2008-11)
- Aviators - Terry Shea - Former Rutgers head coach (1996-2000)
- Blues - Ted Cottrell - Longtime NFL defensive coordinator with stops with the Bills, Jets, Vikings, and Chargers
- Conquerers - Jerry Glanville - Former head coach with the Houston Oilers (1985-89), Falcons (1990-93) and Portland State.
- Generals - Bart Andrus - Former NFL Europe, UFL, CFL and college head coach who has led Rocky Mountain College (1996), Feather River Junior College (2014), Amsterdam Admirals, Toronto Argonauts, and Omaha Nighthawks.
- Jousters - Chuck Bresnahan - Longtime defensive coordinator with stops in the NFL with the Raiders (2000-03 and 2011) and Bengals (2005-07) and in college at USF (2013-14) and Maine (1992-93).
Over the last several years, the league has boasted other rather recognizable names too with players like Johnny Manziel, Zach Mettenberger, Fred Jackson, Ben Tate, Greg Hardy, and Ahmad Bradshaw among the names they've listed as their "Marquee Players."
Without a doubt, it is an absolute blessing that we have been able to watch college and NFL football on TV these past few weeks, but this article should also serve as a great reminder of the opportunity The Spring League has presented for coaches and players still pursuing their dreams of playing on a bigger stage.
It will be interesting to see if they shift their season to the spring and capture the attention of those missing football (as they originally planned) once we're all able to return to normal post-COVID concerns.