USFL: Top 10 players to watch out for heading into the 2023 season.

With the dawn of another football league upon us, the new season of the USFL is set to kick off in just around two weeks on April 15th.

With a 10-game season, the eight USLF squads are split up into two divisions, simply named the North and the South. Headlining the North division will be the Michigan Panthers, Philadelphia Stars, New Jersey Generals and Pittsburgh Maulers.

The South consists of the Birmingham Stallions, New Orleans Breakers, Houston Gamblers and the newly added Memphis Showboats (replaced Tampa Bay Bandits).

Let’s take a look at the Top 10 players we feel will have an impact this season.

10. Bo Scarborough, RB Birmingham Stallions

If the name sounds familiar to you then you must be a fan of college football and either loved or hated to watch the Alabama Crimson Tide during the late 2010s. Bo Scarborough was just another name on the long list of dominant running backs that Alabama had in their program.

However, unlike most of the other players from Alabama, he has been unable to find true success professionally. After an unsuccessful stint in the NFL, Scarborough finds himself in his second year with the reigning USLF champion Birmingham Stallions.

9. Trey Quinn, WR Michigan Panthers

The 6-foot, 200-pound receiver may not be one of the more electric playmakers in the league this year but what Quinn does bring is NFL experience. After being the very last pick of the 2018 NFL Draft Quinn got most of his playing time with the Washington Commanders.

Quinn garnered 236 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his two seasons with Washington, but he was mostly derailed by injuries. Quinn has not played in a game since 2019 but expect him to do very good things for the Panthers offense in the upcoming season.

8. Johnny Dixon, WR New Orleans Breakers

Another player who was unable to find success in the NFL after a very successful career in college. With the Ohio State University (NCAA Division I), Dixon was one of the key offensive playmakers during the mid 2010s for the Buckeyes. He also was on the 2014 National Championship Buckeye team.

Dixon is now heading into his second season with New Orleans. Last season saw him contribute heavily as he finished with 37 receptions, 359 yards and four touchdowns. While there looks to be a new quarterback for the breakers in the 2023 season, Dixon will still look to make plays with his blazing speed.

7. Channing Stribling, CB Philadelphia Stars

The catalyst and head playmaker of the Philadelphia Stars is making his return to the USFL. After being signed and shortly released by the Washington Commanders, Stribling declined to play for the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL and return to the stars.

Stribling was the USFL’s interception leader with seven in 2022. What makes it more impressive is he only played seven games in total. After averaging an interception in every game he played, Stribling looks to pick up where he left of by terrorizing every single QB he faces.

6. Brady White, QB Memphis Showboats

The Memphis Showboats is the new look of the previously named Tampa Bay Bandits. While the team may be in a new home, have a completely different name and have a brand-new look, the core of the team still remains virtually the same. That is except for one glaring difference. Brady White will be stepping to fill the shoes of their former QB and 2022 USFL passing leader Jordan Ta’amu.

Out of all the QBs White definitely has one of the higher expectations. However, he is the one in the QB room who is most familiar with head Coach Todd Haley. White seems to have the trust from his coach and most importantly from the rest of his team. He understands the playbook the most and what Haley expects from his offense heading into the 2023 season.

5. Scooby Wright III, LB Birmingham Stallions

Aside from having one of the coolest names in professional sports, Wright can also play some darn good football. Coming out of college from the University of Arizona (NCAA Division I) in 2014 he was a unanimous All-American and was given the Jack Lambert Award (Best collegiate linebacker) and the Chuck Bednarik Award (Best collegiate defensive player).

The thing that makes Scooby special is he is constantly making plays. While he didn’t lead the team in solo tackles, he did lead the team in assisted tackles (28), meaning he is always finding his helmet around the ball. Wright also had three sacks and in the 2022 USFL championship had an interception that he returned for the game-winning touchdown.

4. Darius Victor, RB New Jersey Generals

With a stellar 2022 performance that saw him capture the USFL Offensive Player of the Year Award. Darius Victor looks to try and lead the Generals back to their conference championship and break on through to the USFL championship in 2023.

In 2022, Victor rushed for 577 yards and a league leading nine touchdowns off of 127 carries. Along with OPTY honors, Victor was also named to the 2022 All-USFL team. Without MVP KaVontae Turpin, look for the Generals offense to rely more on the play of Victor for the upcoming season.

3. McLeod Bethel-Thompson, QB New Orleans Breakers

For fans of the CFL you will know his name. For those who don’t know, McLeod Bethel-Thompson had a very successful five-year career in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts. Totaling 13,265 passing yards and 70 passing touchdowns, Bethel-Thompson would depart Toronto as a two-time Grey Cup champion and 4th on the all-time Argonauts career passing yards list.

For a league that mostly has younger players trying to showcase their talents, Bethel-Thompson is easily the most tenured player in the USFL. Heading into his 13th season as a professional QB, Bethel-Thompson will be returning to generalized American Football. It could take some time to adjust since the CFL has a different playing field and a completely different set of rules.

2. J’Mar Smith, QB Birmingham Stallions

Coming off of a season where you are the quarterback of the reigning league champions always holds a certain type of weight. Being under the pressure of expectations for another successful campaign is the exact position Stallions QB J’Mar Smith finds himself in.

In 2022, Smith showed off his dual threat ability passing for 1,573 yards and 10 passing touchdowns which would put him in 3rd on the leaderboard in both stats. Smith also had 191 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground off of 37 carries. Will the pressure to repeat get to him or will he show once again why his team won last year’s USFL Championship.

1.Reuben Foster, LB Pittsburgh Maulers

As one Alabama Crimson Tide player stared off this list, it will end with another. Reuben Foster was arguably one of the most hyped defensive prospects to come out of college in the last 5 seasons. However, an injury and a plethora of legal issues would see him completely removed from the limelight since 2018 when he last played a down of professional football.

Heading into the 2023 season, Foster is finally being gifted the second chance he has been craving for years. Speed, athleticism and physicality are all boxes that are checked when describing Foster’s play style. Not only will Foster make a good case to win the USFL Defensive Player of the year, but there is a good chance you may see him back in the NFL after his performance in the USFL this year.

Noah Costantino is a student and football player at Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, Ohio. Fueled by his love for the game he looks to continue his knowledge of football at an international level. He is majoring in Communications with a