WEST JORDAN — Less than 75 days remain until the kickoff of The Alliance of American Football's inaugural season. Even with the start date more than two months away, though, there was a pair of sizable milestones Tuesday for the fledgling league and its Utah franchise, the Salt Lake Stallions.
The Stallions unveiled the team's uniforms in front of a pro-Salt Lake crowd during a watch party at ’Bout Time! Pub & Grub in West Jordan. Then, the Stallions picked Liberty's Josh Woodrum in the first round of the league's "Protect or Pick" QB draft later that night.
"It’s the first time it really is public," Stallions team president Tyler Howell said. "We’ve been doing this a long time now, getting ready for tonight. With the uniform unveil and the quarterback draft, we’re going to have a look at what they look like, we’re going to know who they are. This is really where it starts, so it’s an exciting night."
The Alliance, set to play its first season in 2019, released the uniform and helmet designs for each of the eight teams ahead of the league’s “Protect or Pick” draft, held Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
As part of the four-round "Protect or Pick" QB draft, the Stallions had the option to protect one of the quarterbacks allocated to their roster or take a chance and pick an unprotected signal caller. Salt Lake, like three other teams, went with the pick option. They chose Woodrum, who went undrafted in 2016 and has spent time on six different NFL rosters over the past two seasons, most recently with the Baltimore Ravens.
"It’s a very important decision involving a very important position that will have an impact on the entire team but we are confident that Josh is the right selection for the Salt Lake Stallions," said Stallions head coach Dennis Erickson, the former University of Utah assistant coach, in a press release.
For Ute offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi, one of several former Utah players who's signed on with the Stallions, doesn't know much about his new quarterback, but he's ready to learn.
"He looks like a fun dude on TV," Poutasi said as several televisions blared the telecast of the draft in the background. "He looks like a dude that likes to smile. I'm excited to know him. ... I'm going to do my best to protect him and get this thing rolling."
Here's a primer: the 6-foot-3, 228-pound Woodrum was a four-year starter at Liberty, where he became the school's career record holder for passing yards (10,266), completions (833), total offense (10,690) and touchdowns responsible for (77). Following his senior year in 2015, he joined North Dakota State's Carson Wentz as the only two Football Championship Subdivision quarterbacks to receive invitations to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis that spring. Wentz, of course, went second overall in the NFL draft that year to the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Number one, Josh is a football player, and number two, he's a great person,” Stallions general manager Randy Mueller said in a press release. “I think he's going to be a great addition to the chemistry of the football team, this organization and the community."
With the option to protect an allocated quarterback no longer on the table following the first round, Salt Lake used its other three selections in the draft on South Florida's B.J. Daniels in the second round, followed by Arkansas' Austin Allen and Idaho's Matt Linehan in the final two rounds.
The Stallions’ uniform colors — sky blue, royal blue and silver — mirror those of the team logo and name released in late September. Those colors “are inspired by the reflection of the vast blue sky off of the Great Salt Lake and the silver tips of the Wasatch Mountains,” the Alliance said in a press release. “The logo is inspired by car hood ornaments and automotive indicia that adorns some of history’s fastest and most famous cars.”
The Stallions jersey, designed by Starter, is largely silver with royal blue jersey numbers outlined in sky blue and with sky blue along the collar and on the short sleeves. The pants are sky blue with a royal blue stripe on the side.
The helmet developed by Riddell is also silver, with sky blue side stripes — an enlarged version of the logo — sprouting out from the facemask area, showing the winged lower portion of the Stallions logo. The facemask itself is sky blue.5 comments on this story
Poutasi, who wore the Utes' Crimson red during his college days, said he did think about wearing blue for the Stallions, who will play their home games at Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium. No matter.
"It's all about the game and the team. We're representing Salt Lake City as one. I'm excited to put on this uniform. It's a good-looking uniform, too," he said.
The Alliance’s inaugural 10-week season kicks off Feb. 9, 2019, the weekend after Super Bowl LIII. Salt Lake opens play with a road game at the Arizona Hotshots on Feb. 10.