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XFL Birmingham Bolts Press Release 9
Press Release 9
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Former Bama QB Jay Barker signs with Birmingham Thunderbolts

Jay Barker, who quarterbacked Alabama to a college football national championship in 1992, has been signed to an XFL contract by the Birmingham Thunderbolts. Barker reported to training camp in time for two practices Sunday.

Just to have the chance to play again at Legion Field is exciting. I dont think Ive ever lost a game there, Barker said. Its also going to be great to play at home in front of friends and family.

At first I was a little skeptical about the XFL, about whether it would be legitimate football because of the ties to the WWF, Barker said, but (Bolts general manager) Tim Berryman and Coach (Gerry) DiNardo made me feel comfortable and assured me that the football is real.

Barker, a Birmingham native, played the last three seasons for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. After playing in 36 regular season and two playoff games for the Argonauts in 1998 and 1999, Barkers playing time was limited due to injuries in 2000.

Over a three-year CFL career, Barker completed 269 of 472 passing attempts for 3,433 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was intercepted 19 times.

I plan to play the XFL season and return to Toronto for the CFL season, Barker said. It will be such a positive from an exposure standpoint getting to play in the XFL and in the United States. The leagues tie with NBC is very much a positive.

A fifth-round selection by the Green Bay Packers in 1995, Barker also logged time in the NFL with the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers before heading to the CFL.

Barker won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which goes annually to the top senior collegiate quarterback in the nation and was also the Southeastern Conference player of the Year in 1994. He led Alabama to a 34-2-1 record as the starter for the Crimson Tide, including a 22-game win streak from 1991-93.

The Thunderbolts did not have to release a player to make room for Barker. Birmingham has been a quarterback short in camp since Jon Nielsen decided not to report..

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