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10 Arena Football Players to Know this Season

Updated at Feb 1, 2024

The beginning of the AFL season is going to bring all sorts of names. Many players will be getting their first shots out of college, and just as many have had substantial careers in Arena Football and indoor football.

The beginning of the AFL season is going to bring all sorts of names. Many players will be getting their first shots out of college, and just as many have had substantial careers in Arena Football and indoor football. This season will bring tons of new players, considering this is the most teams the league has had since 2012 and nearly three times as many teams as the previous 2019 season. It may be hectic trying to dive right in, so let’s go over some names that will be popping up over the season.

Drew Powell

QB Orlando Predators

6-2, 220 lbs, Livingstone College

2023 Arizona Rattlers, 12 games, 72 TDs, 2700 yards

Drew Powell is one of the most proven players in this upcoming season. He played in the Indoor Football League for five years, building a triumphant 31-5 regular season record, winning 3 MVPs, and leading the 2018 Iowa Barnstormers to a league title. He lights up the field as a true dual-threat QB. In his last season, he threw 45 touchdowns and rushed for another 27.

Charles McCullum

QB West Texas Desert Hawks

6-4, 205 lbs, Stillman College

2023 Duke City Gladiators (IFL), 10 games, 30 TDs, 1372 yards

Charles McCullum has had a legendary pro football career. He is a two-time MVP and a National Arena League champion. He is a true gunslinger which earned him the title of all-time passing yards leader in the Indoor Football League. Having McCullum and Powell in the same division creates a battle of the greats, two titans battling for the throne.

V.J. Malo

DE Washington Wolfpack

6-1, 270 lbs, Portland State University

2022 Portland State Vikings, 9 games, 18 tackles, 1.5 sacks

Malo is a defensive master class with a repertoire to support it. Formerly at Portland State, he broke the single-season records for tackles for loss (20) and sacks (10) in his first year there. Injuries ended up cutting his senior season short. After going undrafted in 2023, he looks to take on the AFL. Get familiar with the name now because you will surely hear it a lot during the season.

Jerimiah Spicer

LB Oregon Blackbears

6-1, 240 lbs, Riverside City College

Los Angeles Wildcats (XFL-Drafted)

Spicer’s journey through football is one of triumph. Spicer was originally homeless, living on Skid Row in Los Angeles and living in a car. But through his own resilience, he made his way into professional football. He has endured the loss of his mother, a season-ending car accident, and countless more. Spicer has proved himself in a season of arena football and in making the XFL Draft. Keep an eye on him this season.

When asked what it means to be able to play in the Arena Football League this season, Spicer said, "For a lot of us, it means the World that the AFL is back for 2024. A lot of players with resumes from NFL, CFL, AFL, XFL, and USFL get a chance to play for a league that values us players. The AFL gives guys like myself a chance to get back to playing on a big stage. So this is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY to play on NATIONAL TELEVISION. I GET TO SHOW THE WORLD WHAT I GOT."

Zaycoven Henderson

OL/DL Nashville Kats

6-2, 300lbs, Texas A&M

2023 Frisco Fighters, 11 games, 15.5 tackles, 3.5 TFL

If anybody has got a resume, it’s Zaycoven Henderson. Henderson spent four years at Texas A&M. He logged 47 games with 51 solo tackles and 116 total. He then signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2018 but was released later that year. Henderson last played with the Frisco Fighters of the IFL.

Caleb Smith

WR Albany Firebirds

6-1, 195 lbs, Towson University

2023 Albany Firebirds, 17 TDs, 41 catches

Smith was a rookie last year in the IFL, putting up good numbers with the Iowa Barnstormers- more than 300 yards and 12 touchdowns over nine games. Before that, he spent four years at Towson, amassing 1200 yards and six touchdowns. With the first-year jitters gone, Smith is set up to excel in this AFL season.

Caleb is not the only arena footballer in the Smith family. His father, Rodney Smith, played for the Albany Firebirds in the AFL for seven seasons during the 90s.

Tony Fair

OL/DL Albany Firebirds

6-1, 330 lbs, Auburn

2021 Auburn Tigers, 12 games, 9 tackles

Fair spent two seasons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was a part of the 2020 conference champion team. After that year, he transferrrd to Auburn, posting 66 Tackles and 3.0 sacks in that time. He signed with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL but without much time on the field. The big man is shifty at his position and overall moves well for a man his size.

Jordan Pouncey

WR Oregon Blackbears

6-1, 217 lbs, University of Florida

Pouncey hails from the University of Florida (and the University of Texas before that), where he spent most of his time in the special teams and some time as a wide receiver. Pouncey was good enough to be on Florida’s roster for three years, seeing action in 28 games. He is young and projectable; we will see how he does in his rookie season. When he is not on the field, he is a wideouts coach for his hometown school, Winter Park High School.

Trajan Stephen-McQueen

LB Billings Outlaws

6-1, 230 lbs, Georgia State

2019 Georgia State Panthers, 82 tackles, 2 interceptions

Trajan is a Georgia State product. He had a great 2019 season, where he made 82 tackles. Afterward, he went and played professional football in Mexico for the Gallos Negros de Querétaro and had some pretty nice highlights. He’s an aggressive tackler with the ability to ball hawk. He also makes a solid case for the best name in the league.

Lashard Durr

DB Southwest Kansas Storm

5-11, 195 lbs, Mississippi State

2017 Miss St Bulldogs, 36 tackles, 1 interceptions

Lashard Durr has seen the lights. He played two seasons at Mississippi State and spent some time with the Indianapolis Colts, getting some preseason opportunities- 4 games with 6 solo tackles. Durr was part of a defensive back unit at State that was ranked 12th nationally against the pass. Off the field, Lashard is actually a dog breeder, specializing in breeding and raising pit bulls.

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