Coastal Carolina

Two former Coastal Carolina players among initial members of new pro football league

B.C. Lions

Former Coastal Carolina University football players Alex Ross and Kerron Johnson are among the hundreds of players reporting this week to the inaugural Alliance of American Football (AAF) training camp in San Antonio.

Ross, who was drafted by the San Diego Fleet in the fourth round of the AAF’s inaugural Quarterback Draft in November, reported to training camp as one of three quarterbacks on the Fleet squad along with Mike Bercovici and Phillip Nelson.

Johnson, a linebacker, joined the Atlanta Legends for training camp, which will include a joint practice with Ross and the San Diego Fleet on Jan. 17.

The AAF’s eight teams brought 74 players to camp and must reduce their rosters to the 52-player regular-season limit by Jan. 30. The season begins in February.

Ross, who set the Big South Conference’s career total offense record while playing for Coastal from 2012-15, played for the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions in 2017 and Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2018.

While at Coastal, Ross was a 2015 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American, 2015 CoSIDA/Capital One second-team Academic All-America, a 2015 FCS National Offensive Player of the Year finalist and a 2014 Walter Payton Award finalist.

He was also the 2014 Big South Offensive Player of the Year, the 2015 Big South Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a three-time All-Big South first team selection (2013, 2014 and 2015).

Johnson, a member of the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society for the 2017 season, totaled 141 tackles, including 85 solo stops, over his career at Coastal from 2013-17. In 50 games, he recorded 12.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery while playing safety, linebacker and special teams.

The Alliance of American Football’s eight teams will play a 12-week season kicking off Feb. 9 on CBS and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28.

The AAF was founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bill Polian, a longtime NFL executive and current analyst for ESPN.

Fans will be able to stream Alliance matchups live via the free Alliance app while accessing integrated fantasy options with real rewards for themselves and the players they are cheering on.

The Alliance will provide players a comprehensive bonus system, post-football career planning, and counseling and scholarship support for postsecondary education.