The USFL’s Top 5 Players from Week One: Who stood out in the league’s debut?

The USFL’s Opening weekend had some big plays and serious bloopers. Fans were treated to everything from shanked kicks and dropped picks to spectacular one-handed grabs, bone-crushing hits, and perfect passes.

Five standout players seized the USFL’s opening weekend more than any others. These players put out some of their best football on national tv, auditioning themselves to be the faces of a league desperate for marketable stars.

5: Reggie Northrup, LB, Houston Gamblers

Houston’s best defender made himself known in his USFL debut scoring a 95-yard fumble recovery touchdown in the first half. Northrup a part-time MMA fighter packed a punch delivering several big hits and finishing the game with 11 total tackles as the Gamblers pulled off the upset victory.

4: Luis Perez, QB, New Jersey Generals

Perez is a proven winner of alternative football who has played in the XFL, AAF, and The Spring League. The veteran was the league’s most efficient passer of the weekend connecting on 13 of 18 passes. Perez found the his receiver for the USFL’s first touchdown and later found tight end Braedon Bowman to finish the day with 143 yards and two touchdowns. Unlike most quarterback this weekend, Perez moved the ball up and down the field and avoided turnovers.

3: J’mar Smith, QB, Birmingham Stallions

While Smith’s stat line of 156 yards passing is not particularly impressive, his clutch factor was. Coming off the bench for injured starter Alex Mcgough, Smith looked confident in an offense he knows well, playing for coach Skip Holtz at Louisiana Tech. The backup led a 2 minute drill at the end of the game making several accurate passes leading the Stallions down the field. The former LA-Tech Bulldog took things in his own hands winning the game on a quarterback scramble with under 30 seconds remaining. Smith finished the game with two total touchdowns in an efficient debut. Look for him to be a top quarterback in the league as he knows coach Holtz’s offense like the back of his hand.

2: Randy Satterfield, WR, Philadelphia Stars

At 6’3 190-pounds with great leaping ability, Satterfield has big-play potential. The former Lyon University wideout showed just how much potential he had by making an incredible catch on the opening weekend’s first play from scrimmage. He continued his success by making history scoring the USFL’s first touchdown and finishing the game with five catches for 100 yards.

1: Davin Bellamy, DE, New Orleans Breakers. 

The most dominant player of the USFL’s opening weekend was New Orleans Breakers defensive end Davin Bellamy. The former Georgia Bulldog was maybe the league’s most impressive player overall notching three sacks, several hurries and finishing the day with 6 tackles in a win.  unsurprisingly he was named the league’s defensive player of the week.

Fan’s tuned in relatively well to the USFL’s debut. If big plays especially from quarterbacks continues look for the USFL to be able to capture and retain fans and keep it’s operations afloat, something no spring league has done in a long time.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football