Bears News: Previewing the UFL: Birmingham Stallions

Bears News: Previewing the UFL: Birmingham Stallions


by - Senior Writer -

The United Football League (UFL) will begin play on March 30 for its inaugural season. For those unfamiliar with the UFL, it is the merged league of the XFL and USFL, as eight of the 16 teams have combined to make one league.

While the plan is to expand beyond eight teams at some point, the focus of this league is to provide fans with some of the best spring football possible as it continues to be in high demand. The model is there for Spring Football to succeed; now, it is about execution, as the NFL wants to work and serve as a feeder program for the NFL.

Over the next few weeks, we will dive into each team and preview them for the season ahead, and that all starts with the two-time USFL champion Birmingham, where the Stallions have to be viewed as the favorites again. Led by Skip Holtz, who will be in his third year with the Stallions, they have set the standard for Spring football as the rest of the league is playing catchup to them.

A success coach at the college level, where he posted a 152-121 record, Holtz has gone 17-3 with Birmingham and has two championships under his belt. When you look at the roster he has assembled, there is no reason not to believe they will be in the running to win yet again, as they have arguably the best QB in the entire league.

J'Mar Smith will be the favorite to win the job out of camp but don't overlook former Nebraska and Kansas State QB Adrian Martinez along with Matt Corral.

Whoever wins the starting job will have plenty of weapons to lean on, with CJ Marable and Bo Scarbrough leading the RB room with the newly acquired Larry Roundtree III.

You also have Victor Bolden Jr. and Myron Mitchell in the WR room, but it is a pair of former Green Bay Packers that could dictate how good this offense can be.

We are referring to Amari Rodgers and Jace Sternberger, as both dealt with injuries and struggles during their time with the Packers. Rodgers went on to sign with the Texans in 2022 but could never amount to much.

Sternberger was one of the Stallions' favorite targets last season and showed the then-USFL what made him such a valuable piece in the NFL.

While the offense is as loaded as ever, the defense will continue to set the one as that is the one area they excel in. Hercules Mata'afa and Jaylen Twyman are the most recognizable names up front, as they will be tasked with anchoring the defensive front seven in the trenches.

Moving to the LB unit, you will find some of the most talented players in the entire league, which makes you wonder why some of these guys don't have an NFL job.

DeMarquis Gates and Travin Howard are two of the better LBs in the entire league, but pay attention to Scooby Wright, who came into his own last season. Chris Orr is also a name to watch, and based on how this season pans out, he could be playing for a future NFL contract. Add in Channing Stribling and Kenny Robinson in the secondary, and the Stallions are once again loaded with talent at every level and could be the favorites to win the league in 2024.

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