Breaking Down The San Antonio Brahmas Letter Of Intent Signings | Nigel Harris

Analyzing The San Antonio Brahmas Letters Of Intent Signings

As the USFL-XFL merger heads towards completion, the San Antonio Brahmas are a team that should be set to play in 2024. With the recent announcement of the “Lone Star Club”, fans are in store for an exciting season next year.

In 2023, the Brahmas struggled to put much of anything together, especially offensively. The team finished with a 3-7 record, under the leadership of HC Hines Ward.

During the XFL offseason, San Antonio has seen 29 athletes sign “Letters Of Intent”. While these aren’t official contracts, it is likely that we see most of these names in training camp.

Let’s take a look at each athlete who has signed an LOI, and what they can bring to the franchise.

QB Matthew McKay | Elon

Matthew McKay was a journeyman in college, beginning his career at North Carolina State. There, he started in five of eleven games played. At North Carolina, McKay threw for 997 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2021, Matthew transferred to Montana State. His lone season there was impressive, tossing 17 touchdowns to only three interceptions. In 11 games, he registered 2,021 passing yards, completing 62% of his attempts.

From there, McKay moved to Elon for his senior season. In 2022, Matthew racked up 2,709 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. In addition, he added 456 yards and three scores on the ground.

Matthew McKay helps bring some depth to the San Antonio Brahmas QB room. The team saw Reid Sinnett move to the NFL ranks, and they also released Jawon Pass. Most recently, McKay received an invite to the Dallas Cowboys rookie mini-camp.

QB T.J. Edwards | Indianapolis

TJ Edwards is an intriguing prospect for San Antonio. The team is in need of quarterbacks, especially those who can both throw and run at a high level.

Edwards began his college career at Southwest Baptist. From there, he transferred to the University of Indianapolis for his final season, and excelled. He threw for 2,392 yards and 23 touchdowns, tossing only four interceptions. His performance earned Edwards 2019 All-GLVC Third Team honors.

TJ can do more than just throw. In 2019, he ran for 407 yards and seven touchdowns – averaging 5.1 YPC. Something the Brahmas missed in 2023 was a consistently mobile quarterback. Edwards could provide the team with exactly that.

This past year, Edwards played in the Indoor Football League for the Frisco Fighters. He was unstoppable, leading Frisco to a 14-2 record. He threw for 39 touchdowns – and rushed for 49, which is remarkable. His efforts earned himself the MVP award for the 2023 season. Now, Edwards will look to prove himself to San Antonio in training camp.

RB Chris Smith | Louisiana

Chris Smith brings multiple facets of the game to the table for San Antonio. He posted solid numbers as a running back with Louisiana-Lafayette, rushing for almost 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns during his two final years.

Additionally, he’s an excellent returner, being utilized often on special teams. With his versatility, expect Hines Ward to make the most of this signing in 2024 if he officially joins the team.

RB Marcus Cooper | USC

Marcus Cooper had a decorated career at Incarnate Word, bringing physicality and speed to the Brahmas backfield.

Cooper had an outstanding season in 2022, rushing for 1,436 yards and twelve touchdowns in just 14 games. He averaged 6.8 YPC, while posting an average of 102 rushing yards per game.

At 5’8” and 184 lbs., he’s on the smaller side for a back – but don’t let that fool you. His explosiveness is what makes him into a playmaker, something that became a staple of his career at Incarnate Word.

The Seattle Seahawks signed Cooper as an UDFA in April, but ultimately released him which led to Marcus finding new life with the Brahmas.

WR Carlos Carriere | Central Michigan

Carlos Carriere spent the first few years of his college career at Maryland. His final year there saw some impressive production, catching 24 passes for 316 yards and five touchdowns. Carlos then transferred to Central Michigan, and had an excellent senior season with 520 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Carriere has seen NFL interest, and was invited to the New York Giants rookie mini-camp in 2023.

WR C.J. Windham | Middle Tennessee St.

C.J. Windham played for Middle Tennessee State throughout his entire college career. Windham saw six years of action with the team, posting 1,329 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns during his tenure there.

In his senior season, C.J. Windham made an impact. As a team captain, he started in eight of 12 games for the school, with 236 receiving yards and two touchdowns to his name.

Windham was then signed by the Quad City Steamwheelers of the Indoor Football League. He had a solid 2023 season, racking up 419 yards and 11 touchdowns during the year.

The San Antonio Brahmas need an offensive spark, struggling to score throughout large portions of the 2023 XFL season. Windham could provide the team with the playmaking that they need, with his size and strong hands.

WR JuanCarlos Santana | Tulsa

JuanCarlos (J.C.) Santana joins the Brahmas after a successful career with the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. In college, he compiled 2,325 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Seven of those scores came during his senior year, where he posted 859 receiving yards, averaging 16.9 YPR.

Santana garnered some NFL interest in the draft this year, and now lands in San Antonio for 2024.

WR Malachi Wideman | Jackson State

Malachi Wideman has had a rather unique career up until this point. He played with the Tennessee Volunteers in 2020, but only recorded one catch for 24 yards.

He then transferred to the Jackson State Tigers, to play for Deion Sanders. In 2021, Wideman broke out with a spectacular campaign – catching 12 touchdowns and racking up 540 receiving yards.

Since then, Malachi hasn’t seen much action. He stayed with Jackson State in 2022, but notched just three receptions on the season, one of which was a score.

Now, Wideman has signed a LOI with the San Antonio Brahmas, despite having college eligibility left. At 6’5”, Malachi is a tall target that could be utilized by Hines Ward in a variety of ways.

TE Cary Angeline | North Carolina State

Spring football fans will recognize Cary Angeline, who has seen action in this scene before. Angeline played with the Birmingham Stallions during the USFL’s 2022 season. He posted 152 receiving yards and a touchdown in nine games.

After being released by the Stallions this past April, Cary now moves to San Antonio in hopes of rejuvenating his professional career.

TE Jahleel Billingsley | Texas

Jahleel Billingsley notched a couple of excellent years at Alabama, recording 543 receiving yards and six touchdowns during his final two seasons there. He then transferred to Texas, and now lands in the XFL with the San Antonio Brahmas.

Like a lot of the other players on this list, Billingsley saw NFL attention in 2023. He was invited to the Tennessee Titans rookie mini-camp this spring.

TE Luke Ford | Illinois

Luke Ford played his college ball at Illinois, seeing action in five years from 2018-2022. Across that span, Ford posted 227 receiving yards and two touchdowns, primarily being used as a secondary tight end.

Ford’s bread and butter is blocking, although his size at 6’7” could make him into a red zone threat for San Antonio if they so desire.

TE Ryan Becker | SMU

Ryan Becker is another familiar face, having been in the XFL in 2023. Becker was with the Orlando Guardians, starting in four of six games played.

During the XFL season, Becker wasn’t utilized often. He recorded four receptions for 26 total yards. Throughout his career, Ryan has typically been a blocking tight end. He also has some NFL experience, spending time with the Atlanta Falcons in 2022.

OL Joe Krall | Monmouth

Joe Krall is also an IFL alumni, having played with the Quad City Steamwheelers for the past two seasons. Krall will look to help bolster the San Antonio Brahmas offensive line in 2024.

Krall spent his college days at Monmouth University, and earned first team All-American honors from the AFCA during his senior season.

OT Brendan Bordner | Florida Atlantic

Brendan Bordner is an intriguing prospect for this team, considering the Brahmas offensive line struggles in 2023. Bordner was a standout at Florida Atlantic, and spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys this spring in mini-camps. With some development on the professional stage, Bordner could be a valuable addition.

DL Armonti Carey | Midwestern St.

Armonti Carey has been in the alt-football scene for quite a while. He has spent time with numerous indoor and arena organizations, since 2015.

He played his college ball at Midwestern State University in Kansas, where he earned ​​First Team All-Conference selections during his junior and senior seasons. Most recently, he was with the North Arizona Wranglers of the IFL.

DL Darrius Moragne | Kansas

Darrius Moragne is back in the spring football scene. Moragne is no stranger to these leagues, having played for the Jousters in the TSL during their 2021 season – helping lead the team to a championship.

After that, Moragne spent time with the Pittsburgh Maulers in the USFL. In 2022, he posted 16 total tackles, and 1.5 sacks. Unfortunately, an injury in week three cut short his impressive stint, and he was ultimately released later on in the season.

Moragne saw some successful years at Kansas, racking up 45 tackles and 2.5 sacks across two seasons. Now, he’ll bring some depth to the Brahmas defensive line in 2024.

DL Malik Dorton | USC

Another intriguing pickup is Malik Dorton, out of USC. Dorton had an excellent senior season in 2018, racking up 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks across 12 games (10 starts).

Dorton was with the Edmonton Elks in 2020, but did not record any statistics as that season was canceled. He was also with the MLFB’s Alabama Airborne in 2022 – but we all remember how that ended. Hopefully, Dorton will have the opportunity to actually see the field in 2024.

LB Lorenzo McCaskill | Kansas

Lorenzo McCaskill is a hard-nosed linebacker with an uncanny ability to tackle. He had a couple of outstanding years with Louisiana (83 tackles, 85 tackles) before posting 50 tackles with Kansas during his senior season.

The San Antonio Brahmas defense is all about physical play. McCaskill features those traits, and could certainly be a standout defender in the merged league next year.

LB Michael Kennedy | Northern Illinois

Meet Michael Kennedy, a standout linebacker out of Northern Illinois. He’s had a couple of opportunities this year, signing briefly with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. Kennedy also played one game for the IFL’s Green Bay Blizzard. In April, he appeared at a local prospect event for the Chicago Bears.

At Northern Illinois, Michael came into his own during his final two seasons. From 2021-2022, Kennedy registered 76 tackles, 10.5 TFL, and 6.5 sacks. San Antonio has an excellent defense, featuring some stout linebackers already. Kennedy could certainly provide depth at the position if given the chance.

LB Nazier Wright | William Paterson

Nazier Wright put on a show during his 2021 season at William Paterson. The versatile linebacker finished the year with 70 tackles, posting a whopping 16 TFL. In addition, he added 5.5 sacks, 11 PBU, two FF, and an interception to his name – earning All-Region 2 Third Team, All-ECAC Second Team and All-NJAC First Team honors.

He was also recognized as William Paterson’s defensive player of the year.

LB Nigel Harris | South Florida

Quite possibly one of the bigger names on this list of LOI signings is Nigel Harris. Harris has legitimate NFL experience, spending time with four different organizations from 2017-2019.

Since then, Harris has been with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders from 2021-2022, but hasn’t seen much playing time. Nigel recorded two tackles in the CFL, alongside an interception.

Nigel Harris had an excellent career in college, notching 231 tackles and 5.5 sacks at the University of South Florida. It isn’t hard to imagine Harris making an impact in the XFL next year with San Antonio if he can get back to that USF form.

LB Robert Barnes | Colorado

Speaking of linebackers, Robert Barnes has also signed a LOI with the Brahmas. He’s got a knack for making plays, serving the Colorado Buffaloes with toughness and physicality as an inside linebacker for the past two seasons.

Through 2021-2022, Barnes posted 77 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, and an interception for Colorado. Before transferring to Colorado, he played at Oklahoma, seeing time at both linebacker and safety.

Robert Barnes was invited to the Seattle Seahawks mini-camp this spring. Now, he’ll look to re-write his professional story with San Antonio.

LB Trevor Harmanson | UTSA

The Brahmas have stacked up on linebackers this offseason, adding Trevor Harmanson to the mix out of UTSA.

Harmanson had an excellent career in college, compiling 245 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two interceptions across his four seasons at UTSA. He also played at Blinn JC from 2017-2018. Harmanson’s aggressive, yet smart style of play makes him a valuable prospect for San Antonio in 2024.

CB Najee Reams | North Carolina A&T

During his final two seasons at North Carolina A&T, Najee Reams started in 22 of 23 games played, making an impact in the secondary. Reams posted 95 tackles, 6 PBU, and an interception during that span.

Since then, Najee has spent time in the CFL, and most recently had an NFL mini-camp invite from the Detroit Lions. He was also part of the XFL’s 2022 draft pool. Now, Reams will look to build upon his professional career with the Brahmas.

DB Micahh Smith | Incarnate Word

Micahh Smith had a lengthy college career, spanning from 2016-2022. He began at Arkansas, posting 26 tackles across a few seasons.

Smith then transferred to Incarnate Word, spending his final two years there. Micahh made his presence known especially on special teams, blocking a punt while registering 14 tackles in 2022.

DB R.J. Hubert | Utah

R.J. Hubert is an exciting prospect for San Antonio out of Utah, for many reasons. He had an outstanding career at Utah, where he earned the following honors:

Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention
Semifinalist for the 2022 William V. Campbell Trophy

Hubert was second on the team in his senior year with 78 total tackles, including 3 TFL. He posted three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries as well.

R.J. brings so much to the table defensively for the San Antonio Brahmas. If he does make the regular season roster for 2024, expect him to make major waves in the XFL. He was invited to the Miami Dolphins mini-camp this past spring.

DB Rodney Allen | Marshall

In the college scene, players will occasionally transition from one position to another. Rodney Allen did exactly that, moving from wide receiver to defensive back at Marshall.

Rodney ended up seeing some success during his collegiate career, especially during his final years. As a junior, he compiled 76 tackles, two interceptions, and four forced fumbles. A DUI put a halt to his senior year.

Allen has garnered some professional interest over the past few years, including an NFL look from the Dallas Cowboys.

DB Trey Morrison | Oklahoma

Trey Morrison is a playmaker out of Oklahoma/North Carolina. In four years at North Carolina, he registered:

163 tackles
10 TFL
3 sacks
2 INT
17 PD

At 5’9” and weighing in at 190, Trey is on the smaller side for a DB. That being said, his overall skills at the position allow him to see quite a bit of success.

Morrison has had NFL interest, most recently with the Atlanta Falcons. He is currently on the team’s radar. For now, he’s heading to the XFL, with the San Antonio Brahmas.

FS Dillon Thomas | Missouri State

Dillon Thomas came into his own for Missouri State in 2022. In his senior year he posted 56 total tackles, one interception, one sack, and four pass breakups.

With a couple of Brahmas defensive backs headed to NFL mini-camps and training camps (i.e. Luq Barcoo), San Antonio needs reinforcements.

Final Thoughts

As the 2024 XFL (UFL?) season approaches, the San Antonio Brahmas are bound for success. The team has acquired quite a bit of talent this offseason.

Some key holes to fill: quarterback, & offensive line. Most of the team’s struggles in 2023 revolved around their inability to consistently throw the football. Some of these LOI signings could address those very needs, so it will be interesting to watch it all unfold.

As of right now, the USFL-XFL merger is the elephant in the room. The XFL announced last week that the merger is moving forward, but we still don’t have full details on the league name, or the teams involved. The only confirmation is that the kickoff for the new league is slated for March 30th.

The early word is that Training Camp will begin around February 17th. If this is the case, we will be seeing a good handful of these athletes taking the field in less than 90 days.

Regardless, the San Antonio Brahmas appear to be a lock to participate in the 2024 season. We expect The Alamodome to be rocking once again come March 30th.

What are your thoughts on these LOI signings for the San Antonio Brahmas? Which XFL prospects should the team pursue? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

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