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OU's Mike Balogun got his start in the NAFL

DAVID UBBEN Modified: August 20, 2009 at 4:46 am •  Published: August 20, 2009

/> Many players who sign up for semi-pro football are former college players looking to either extend a career or work their way into Arena Football and, ideally, the NFL.

Balogun was different.

Since Balogun had never played college football, and players pay up to $2,000 to play in the league rather than collect paychecks, he could still participate in the NAFL and retain his college eligibility. Balogun did that, and earned a junior college scholarship because of his NAFL performance. Later, he accepted a scholarship offer from Oklahoma after being named his conference’s player of the year at Lackawanna College.

Stories like Balogun’s make playing in the NAFL worth the price tag for many of the league’s players.

Two semi-pro leagues unaffiliated with the NAFL, the World Football League and the Oklahoma Metro Football League, have strong presences in Oklahoma. Former players like Oklahoma’s Kejuan Jones and Oklahoma State’s Prentiss Elliott currently play in the World Football League, for the Oklahoma Thunder, based in Skiatook, near Tulsa. Oklahoma City also fields a team in the WFL, the Oklahoma City Gunners.

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