CCU alums Ross, Johnson pioneers in upstart league

Former Coastal Carolina football players Alex Ross and Kerron Johnson both were a part of history this past weekend, as the former Chanticleer gridiron standouts were two of hundreds of players to report to the first-ever Alliance of American Football (AAF) training camp for their respective teams in San Antonio, Texas.

All eight teams in the AAF made their way to San Antonio for training camp and the opportunity to begin their journey toward a second chance to continue their football careers. Teams, which brought in 74 players to camp, must reduce their rosters to the 52-player regular-season limit by Jan. 30.

Ross, who was drafted by the San Diego Fleet in the fourth round of the Alliance of American Football’s inaugural Quarterback Draft in November, reported to training camp as one of three quarterbacks on the Fleet squad along with Mike Bercovici and Phillip Nelson.

Ross, who set the Big South Conference’s career total offense record while playing for Coastal from 2012-15, played for the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions in 2017 and Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2018, and will now continue his professional career in the inaugural season of the AAF beginning in February.

While at Coastal, Ross was a 2015 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American, 2015 CoSIDA/Capital One second-team Academic All-America, a 2015 FCS National Offensive Player of the Year finalist and a 2014 Walter Payton Award finalist.

He was also the 2014 Big South Offensive Player of the Year, the 2015 Big South Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a three-time All-Big South first team selection (2013, 2014 and 2015).

Johnson joined his team the Atlanta Legends for training camp, which coincidentally will have a joint practice with Ross and the San Diego Fleet on Jan. 17.

A 2018 member of the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society for the 2017 season, Johnson totaled 141 tackles, including 85 solo stops, over his career at Coastal Carolina from 2013-17. In 50 games, he also recorded 12.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups, forced two fumbles and recovered one playing safety, linebacker and special teams.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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