The outcasts. The longshots. That’s actually not what the UFL has been completely about. One thing they strive for is to be a tackling, catching and running audition for players hoping to get back into the NFL.
UFL owners have been losing money and know they will again this year but are angling to get enough fan interest and revenue to land big-time licensing and TV deals, in addition to a new “player buyout” situation with the NFL.
The season is 50 days away and – with recent news of his signing to be the quarterback of the Colonials – the league has found its first star in Colt Brennan. His story has been one of incredible obstacles and setbacks, the latest being a car accident that left him in serious condition. For his fans, it’s been this long wait to see him play in a meaningful game. Brennan’s been waiting 3 long years to get the taste of the Sugar Bowl against Georgia out of his mouth. He dazzled college football fans for those three wizardly seasons (140 total TDs, 20 400-yard games), then has been mired on the bench in the three years since.
In the 2 seasons the UFL has been in existence, the closest they’ve had to a player of his name recognition is Jeff Garcia. Whether it was Garcia or Jagodzinski’s scheme, his numbers were forgettable last year and the Nighthawks finished 3-5.
Brennan’s strength is allowing his fleet-footedness and his ability to rifle on the run. Jerry Glanville is going to try to replicate that (he was the DC at Hawai’i during some of Brennan’s WAC conquest) and has even brought in one of his old receivers in Ryan Grice-Mullen. I expect them to play guns blazing and shred the UFL record books the same way they did the NCAA ones. This increases the chances of Brennan and Grice-Mullen getting to the NFL.
Note: a lot of these rosters are not set in stone, so there’s no guarantee these players will be on the .
The season kicks off with Hartford Colonials @ Virginia Destroyers, August 13th. Ex- NFL players could include Kevin Jones, Andre Dixon, Ahmad Carrol, and Adam Terry for Hartford; Hank Baskett, Reggie Brown, Adrian Peterson, Willie Parker, Aaron Rouse, Odell Thurman, Jermaine Wiggins and Pat White for Virginia.
The first game for the Las Vegas Locos: at Sacramento Mountain Lions on August 20th. Ex-NFL players could include J.J. Arrington, Dede Dorsey, Ross Kolodziej, Kevin Payne, Samie Parker, and George Wrighster for Las Vegas; Daunte Culpepper, Keary Colbert, Marcus McCauley and Matt Lentz for Sacramento.
The 2011 start for the Omaha Nighthawks is at Sacramento, August 14th. Ex-NFL players could include Dusty Dvoracek, Demarcus Faggins, D.J. Shockley and Nick Hannah for Omaha.