“It’s hard when you have a lot of talent, to make it work, but I feel like we can gel together and make something happen.” Tuskegee Ayrmen owner John Black recently told Developmental Football USA.
The Ayrmen’s situation couldn’t be described any better, as the Amateur to Professional Developmental Football League’s No. 6 team has tons and tons of talent and should make a serious run at the President’s Cup. The only catch is, many of them haven’t been playing together for very long.
“We have a lot of good players and a lot of new players joined me from the Prattville Patriots,” Black said. “We’ve got a lot of All-Stars. We’ve got a Top 3 quarterback in the league in Carl David Jr., a Top 10 defensive end in Patrick Campbell and a lot of Top 50 players, about 10 of those.”
Offensively, the Ayrmen are especially strong at wide receiver.
“My whole receiving core is All-Stars,” Black said. “We have four Top 20 of the Top 50 All-Stars. I had four starting wide receivers that were All-Stars. All of them came from different teams and joined the Ayrmen.”
Rakeem Scott has been with the Ayrmen since the beginning, Pocket Slater and Travis Garmon both came over from the Patriots, and Jatavious Kilow came over from the Alabama Tigers.
Defensively, the Ayrmen also added former Opelika Chiefs end Greg Moss to an already strong front end. Meanwhile, All-Star Jacory Smith will continue to hold down the back end at safety.
“We have a lot of good guys on defense,” Black said.
Right now, Tuskegee is just taking things one day at a time as they eagerly await the kickoff to the 2019 season, which will be another exciting one in the APDFL.
“The competition is getting better and more teams are joining the league,” Black said. “We’re just focused on making the playoffs and winning the championship.”
A championship anywhere is never easy, but in few leagues is it as tough as the APDFL. While each year has its surprises, Black believes the race will come down to five teams in particular.
“Us, the East Alabama Predators, the Alabama Blackhawks, of course the Mississippi Dynasty and the Gulf Coast Gators,” Black said. “All of us are on a whole other level, I feel.”
While no team should be overlooked in this league, Black is especially looking forward to playing both the Predators and the Gators.
“The East Alabama Predators is my best friend’s team,” Black said. “We’re both owners. Michael Martin, that’s my best friend. We’re from the same city. He moved to Opelika and I stayed in Tuskegee and we both started a team at the same time. Now, we finally get a chance to face off.”
Black developed a relationship with the head man of the league’s No. 3 Gators last year and is ready for some friendly competition later this spring.
“Phil, he’s a good dude,” Black said. “We were coaching together with the All-Stars and got to know each other, so we’re looking forward to that match-up.”