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Two Former Notre Dame Football Players Sign With New Spring Pro League

The Alliance of American Football begins play in February of 2019.

Notre Dame v USC

It’s not exactly the NFL, but two former Notre Dame Fighting Irish football players will have a shot to keep their professional careers alive when February rolls around.

The Alliance of American Football, a newly formed professional league with games running from February through April starting in 2019, announced their first 100 player signings on Monday afternoon. Former Irish punter Ben Turk and defensive back Cody Riggs were both listed as signings for the league’s yet-to-be-named Orlando franchise.

Turk was a 3.5 year starter at punter for the Irish from 2009 to 2012. He punted the ball 200 times for 7894 yards with an average of 39.1 yards per punt while at ND. He also had 67 punts land inside the 20-yard line and 23 punts go 50 yards or more.

Stanford v Notre Dame
Turk (#35) holding for Kyle Brindza back in 2012.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After college, Turk had a mini-camp tryout with the Houston Texans back in 2013, but didn’t make the team. He was then out of organized football for over four years before starting to work out for NFL teams again in 2017. The New York Jets signed him to a futures contract in January of this year, but then placed him on waivers in April. I know most of this because the SBN Jets blog was not all that happy about signing him in the first place.

Riggs played the first four years of his college career at Florida before coming to Notre Dame as a graduate transfer in 2014. He played corner for the Irish starting 11 games that season making 36 tackles with one interception, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Riggs in the 2014 Music City Bowl
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After college, Riggs went undrafted but was a member of the Tennessee Titans off and on for about a year from 2015 to 2016. He had 14 tackles and defended two passes as a Titan in 2015. Riggs was then a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad for about a year from late 2016 to late 2017.

All in all, the Orlando team signed 20 players in this first wave. The team’s first coach is a name that all college football fans are probably familiar with: the always quotable Steve Spurrier.

Like I said, it’s not the glory of playing on an NFL team, but the whole concept is interesting with spring football and some pretty big names attached to this thing behind the scenes like Spurrier, Bill Polian, and Mike Singletary.

The Alliance of American Football kicks off its first game on February 9th, 2019.