The 2023 XFL season only has a few weeks left, but even before that season concludes, we have even more professional football to watch this spring. That is because this weekend will be the season opener for the 2023 United States Football League season.
The Fox-owned USFL, which is a revival of the professional football league of the same name that ran for three seasons in the 1980s, is back for its second season. The league is looking to grow through the introduction of three new host cities (Detroit, Canton, and Memphis), new players, new coaches, new branding, and even a new team.
Like last year, several UCF Knights will be playing in the USFL as well. Some are looking to return to the NFL and others will be playing pro ball for the first time. Either way, these alumni will get the opportunity to show what they can do.
Let’s take a look at these USFL Knights:
Cole Schneider | T | Birmingham Stallions
Schneider played 49 games for the Knights from 2017 to 2021 and started in every game except for the 2017 season.
He was named Second Team All-AAC twice and First Team All-AAC twice. After going undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft he was signed by the Green Bay Packers, but he would be cut in training camp. He signed with the Birmingham Stallions, the defending league champions, on March 30th and will be playing pro football for the first time.
Marlon Williams | WR | Birmingham Stallions
Williams played for the Knights in 41 games from 2017 to 2020, and recorded 157 receptions for 2,260 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was named First Team All-AAC and Third Team All-American by Pro Football Focus in his final year.
This will be Williams’ second season with the Stallions. He was drafted by the team in the 7th round of the inaugural draft and would go on to record 32 catches for 472 yards and four touchdowns, helping the Stallions win the inaugural USFL Championship.
.@ShannonSharpe reacts to Marlon Williams' touchdown in Week 3 of the USFL:— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) May 2, 2022
"This is my play right here. The jailbreak screen, you have to have a lot of courage. He wanted this touchdown, that's how you hit your head on the goal post." pic.twitter.com/ecYpeIuU43
Big Kat Bryant | DE | Memphis Showboats
Bryant played for the Knights in 2021 after transferring from Auburn. He started in all 13 games that season and recorded 28 solo tackles, 22 assisted tackles, three pass deflections, one fumble recovery, and six sacks. He was named First Team All-AAC.
After going undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys, but was cut before the start of the season. He would then sign with the Miami Dolphins and spent a few weeks on their practice squad before being released in the middle of the season.
Bryant was signed by the Showboats, the newest team in the league, who are replacing the Tampa Bay Bandits, on December 13th and will be playing pro ball for the first time.
Marcus Tatum | OL | New Orleans Breakers
Tatum played for the Knights in 2020 and 2021. He played in 23 games and was named Second Team All-AAC his final year. After going undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft he was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he would be cut in training camp. He was drafted in the 2023 XFL Draft by the San Antonio Brahmas before being cut by them before the season.
Tatum signed with the Breakers on February 17th.
Free Agent Signings:— New Orleans Breakers (@USFLBreakers) February 17, 2023
•RB Wes Hills, Slippery Rock/Delaware
•OT Marcus Tatum, C. Florida/Tennessee
Nevelle Clarke | DB | New Orleans Breakers
Clarke played 36 games for the Knights from 2015 to 2019, and recorded 92 solo tackles, 15 assisted tackles, one sack, five interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown. He was named an honorable mention All-AAC selection and also was once named First Team All-AAC.
After going undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, he would sign with the Minnesota Vikings, but he would be part of the team’s final roster cuts. He would spend one season in The Spring League as part of the TSL Generals. He will now be playing in his second season with the Breakers.
Last season he recorded five tackles and one interception.
The USFL season starts with two games on Saturday on Fox, and two more games on Sunday — one on NBC and one on FS1.