Overbaugh kicks off inaugural AAF season with Atlanta Legends

February 4, 2019
Jeff Overbaugh football

Jeff Overbaugh

Anchorage’s Jeff Overbaugh was the 11th Alaskan to play in the NFL, but he’s going to be the first to play in the Alliance of American Football.

The 25-year-old long snapper with the Atlanta Legends will be on the field Saturday for opening night of the AAF’s inaugural season.

The 8-team league kicks off this weekend with four games, including Atlanta visiting the Orlando Apollos in Florida.

“It’s incredible to be a part of something new, a part of history,” he told me. “I think the Alliance is going to be really successful this year and beyond.”

Overbaugh, of Service High fame, has snapped in the NFL in each of the last two seasons, playing for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017 and the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. He also played in three preseason games with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016.

In December, he signed a contract with the Legends without working out, which is like a movie star getting a role without having to audition. The respect is there.

His work is proven, first at San Diego State University and then in the NFL.

He is a specialist, however, and things are different for them compared to position players when it comes to roster moves. Long snappers are usually the last guy to make the team and the first one cut. It’s an underappreciated position.

Nobody needs one until a poor snap costs them a game.

Overbaugh was Atlanta’s guy from the start. He participated in training camp in January and was named to the team’s 53-man roster.

“It’s nice. Everything has been nice,” he said. “It’s always good to sign a contract, go to training camp and make the roster out of training camp and get started.”

The AAF season consists of a 10-week regular season, with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs. The championship game is set for April 27.

Overbaugh is one of only two Alaskans currently playing pro football; Anchorage’s Caleb Holley is in the Canadian Football League.

The AAF is a new chapter for Overbaugh, but it doesn’t close the book on the NFL.

“The NFL is something I’m still pursuing,” he said. “Everybody in the AAF is trying to make it to the league.”