With the USFL season kicking off in the Spring of 2022, it’s a good time to start looking at some players who could end up in the league. I have compiled a list of fifteen individuals from three offensive positions (RB, WR, TE), and divided those fifteen into three different categories.
The first category we’ll be taking a look at is “familiar names,” or players that already have a significant following. Most of these players have NFL experience, and a few were major contributors elsewhere. The USFL can give them an opportunity to extend their careers, furthering the idea that spring football is a valuable option.
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Trent Richardson is a household name for college football fans, as he won two BCS national championships while at Alabama. He was the SEC offensive player of the year in 2011, and in 2012, was selected third overall in the NFL draft. Richardson started his career with the Cleveland Browns, but was traded to the Indianapolis Colts just a year later. By 2016, Richardson was out of the NFL, and viewed by many as a major draft bust.
He spent time with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders and the AAF’s Birmingham Iron, where he became the league leader in rushing touchdowns. He now plays for the Caudillos de Chihuahua of Fútbol Americano de México, a startup league in direct competition with the LFA. If Richardson were to sign with a USFL team, he could give the league more credibility. He is very familiar with the alt. football market at this point in his career, and could still make an impact in any offense.
Jhurell Pressley, RB, New Mexico
Jhurell Pressley should ring a bell in the heads of alt. football fans, since he played in both the AAF and XFL. With the Arizona Hotshots in 2019, Pressley had the most rushing yards in the AAF (431). A year later in 2020, he spent time as a DC Defender, averaging 4.5 yards per carry on 42 attempts. Pressley has solidified himself at the pro level, and should have no problem continuing his career in the USFL.
De’Veon Smith, RB, Michigan
Smith is a very similar player to Pressley, in the sense that both were part of AAF and XFL teams. Smith had 345 rushing yards with the Orlando Apollos in 2019, and 365 with the Tampa Bay Vipers in 2020. Those 365 rushing yards were the most in the XFL, and surprisingly, Smith accomplished the feat without scoring a touchdown. He didn’t generate any NFL interest in 2021, instead joining the BC Lions of the CFL. However, Smith failed to make the final roster over ex-Houston Roughneck James Butler. Smith can bring leadership to a USFL team thanks to his Power 5 experience, and at the age of 27, is likely at the end of his prime. Another round of spring football seems to be the right choice here.
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Coleman is a former Biletnikoff Award winner and Consensus All-American, high status for someone possibly looking at spring football. However, his NFL days appear to be behind him due to a lack of production. Coleman was selected 15th overall in the 2016 draft by the Cleveland Browns, and although his rookie season was decent, the numbers dropped off in 2017. That also happened to be the same year when the Browns didn’t win a single game, prompting them to start from scratch. Coleman wasn’t a part of the rebuild, instead bouncing around from team to team. Despite being on a roster as recently as 2020, Coleman hasn’t caught a pass since 2018. If he doesn’t do something soon, his pro career may be over. The USFL can simply give Coleman the opportunity to play again, which is what a lot of these guys are looking for.
Moritz Böhringer, TE, Germany
Böhringer is a unique talent, and would likely welcome a return to the United States. He was selected in the 2016 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings, making him the first European player to be drafted without any collegiate experience. Prior to the NFL, Böhringer spent time with the Crailsheim Titans of the German Football League, and later signed with the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns. He never appeared in an NFL game, spending five seasons on the practice squad. Böhringer is the type of player that promotes diversity, and should he land in the USFL, would continue a very interesting and rare career.
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