Alabama in the Pros

Two former Alabama players will make their debut in the XFL this weekend

Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

The Alliance of American Football League (AAF) did not work according to plan, but businessmen and fans alike are hopeful for the new XFL to be marketable this week. 

In its rebirth, the XFL will start on Saturday as two games will air on ABC and FOX. 

With its eight teams, two former Alabama players made a roster in Bradley Sylve (DC Defenders) and Saivion Smith (Houston Roughnecks). Sylve will battle the Seattle Dragons, while Smith will face the LA Wildcats.

Both guys were on at least one Southeastern Conference Championship team with the Crimson Tide. 

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Sylve, a native of Port Sulphur, La., arrived at Alabama as a four-star receiver in its 2011 recruiting class.

After redshirting his freshman season, the coaching staff moved him to cornerback.

He would record 40 tackles and seven pass breakups in his career, with totaling a season-high 16 stops in 2015. Sylve was known for his speed, but his performance in the 2014 matchup with Auburn in the Iron Bowl was strong. He tallied two critical pass breakups in helping the team secure a 55-44 victory in a wildly, entertaining game.

Despite his time in the National Football League being short lived, Sylve carved out a productive season with the Birmingham Iron in the AAF’s one year of existence (2019) and has found a new opportunity. 

He was on three national championship teams. 

Smith, a native Floridian, came to the Tide in the 2018 class as a junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Prior to taking the JUCO route, he spent his freshman season at Louisiana State University.

In his lone year with the Tide, Smith was responsible for 60 tackles, five pass breakups and a team-high three interceptions. 

He assisted Alabama to an SEC title in 2018. 

Sylve and the DC Defenders will play at 1:00 p.m. CT (ABC) and Smith will take the field for the Houston Roughnecks at 4:00 p.m. CT (FOX).  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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