It’s no secret that alternative league football seems to be all the rage right now. With the FCS USFL in the XFL call Jeff leads and air quote washed up pros“ have the ability to showcase their skills for NFL teams in the attempt to get back to the highest level of professional football.
In 2021 the FCF was able to use Travis Toivonen as its staple of its success for finding talent often lost in the back end of rosters and rookie mini camps. Toivonen would latch on a futures deal with the Seahawks before bouncing on and off the Giants practice squad and then being signed by them again in 2022 before being cut during mini camp on Jul 26th.
Regardless of Toivonen’s misfortune, he still managed to earn around 70k playing pro football, and was exposed to the NFL for a year, putting in him prom position for future NFL contracts in addition to being a hit commodity for ISFL and XFL teams. Toivonens success despite how minor showed the football world that the FCF had credible athletes that could transition to the NFL and be competitive.
2021 also brought the reemergence of KaVontae Turpin the USFL MVP who recently signed a 3 year deal with the Dallas Cowboys. Turpin who had a brash flurry of off the field issues was able to use the FCF and leverage it into a greater opportunity in the USFL. As we’ve have talked about multiple times Turpin was instant success and now looks to be establishing himself as a viable candidate to make the Cowboys active roster.
This leads me to the main focus of Andrew Jamiel, the shifty receiver out of the tiny atonehill college in Massachusetts. Jamiel seems to have taken the reins as the poster child of the FCF and it’s quest to be more than an NFT gimmick. Jamiel recently had a workout with the Patriots and has been shouted out over social media as the premier receiver by many of the FCF owners and others who are attached to the NFL. Jamiel not only plays for his own success but also as a beacon of hope for small school prospects looking to cement themselves in the halls of professional football.
Jamiel is not only a fan favorite of the FCF but week in and week out was considered a a human highlight reel despite his diminutive stature. Though the FCF had continued to provide stability financially through a 40-million-dollar investment the actual true sustainability, watchability and credibility will come from players like Toivonen, Turpin and hopefully soon Jamiel transitioning from the FCF to other professional leagues. With Toivonen and Turpin making waves in the professional circle, personally I feel like it’s up to Jamiel to continue the transition to at a minimum the XFL.
Jamiel’s success in the next level is crucial to the viability of the FCF as being a serious contender in garnering looked over talent. It appears as if the FCF will continue to attract “retreads” like Johnny Manziel, Terrell Owens, Robert Turbin, and Martavis Bryant, the homegrown talent of Jamiel boasts an underdog story that could continue garner interest from potential players who can relate to Jamiel however, the streak needs to continue.
Moving forward, I do think the FCF is a competitive, fun, and interesting product that is here to stay but I wouldn’t say it’s a dynamic football league but with time and continued “success” stories the league will be set up to be another avenue of development professional “traditional” talent. For Jamiel, a lot of this pressure to succeed relies on him to show that the FCF is viable option for players looking to make an impression in a non-traditional opportunity.