Shocking news hit the USFL this week, as elite Canadian Football League quarterback, McLeod Bethel-Thompson announced his signing with the New Orleans Breakers. Bethel-Thompson is a huge signing for the league as he is a two-time CFL East All-Star and a two-time Grey Cup champion. The signing of a veteran quarterback with a championship resume is a huge credibility boost in Year Two of the USFL.
My next journey begins with the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL and will then continue with considerable NFL interest this fall. I do not want this decision to be in any way seen as a dismissal of the CFL.
However, this puts the Breakers’ quarterback room in flux as they now have three other quarterbacks on their roster, Elon alum, Davis Cheek, Alabama A&M alum Aqeel Glass, and Tulsa alum and last year’s backup Zach Smith, who threw for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Something has to give now as one of these quarterbacks will likely be traded and released in all likelihood.
Cheek or Glass may be the odd men out as they are both in their first year in the league. Luckily for Glass, the next location may just be a simple walk across Birmingham. The Birmingham Stallions would be a good fit for Glass as he went to school less than two hours away at Alabama A&M. Glass played to large crowds in the Magic City Classic from 2018-2021 and thrilled crowds with great performances at historic Legion Field.
In four Magic City Classics, Glass threw for 1251 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding 87 yards and a touchdown on the ground. These dazzling performances merely added to Glass’ legend as he finished his career with 12,136 yards, the 14th-highest total in the FCS, and 109 passing touchdowns, good for 11th all-time in the FCS. On top of that, Glass threw for an efficient 9/11 for 141 yards and a touchdown in the 2022 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Getting Glass solidifies the Stallions’ quarterback room behind J’Mar Smith and Alex McGough should college draftee Malik Cunningham opt for the NFL this season. If Cunningham does opt for the NFL, McGough may be the odd man out in Birmingham. Glass has a high ceiling as a passer and furthermore would be a fan-favorite.
Last year, the Stallions proved how important local college products were for the league’s attendance in the Magic City as former Alabama running back Bo Scarborough anchored the Birmingham running game and Tuskegee grad Peyton Ramzy was a solid contributor in the receiving corps and as a return man. In 2018, Glass’ second year, over 65,000 fans flocked to Legion Field for the Magic City Classic, so Alabama A&M’s greatest quarterback could draw well for the Birmingham Stallions.
Glass could find the field in the Stallions’ T-Formation package, as he is 6-5 and 215 pounds, an ideal size for QB sneaks, and having a big quarterback to use in short-yardage can spare J’Mar Smith from the risk of injury. A quarterback sneak specialist is not unfamiliar as the Indianapolis Colts used Jacoby Brissett in that capacity during the 2020 season and he was a perfect 9-for-9 on QB sneaks with three touchdowns.
Using Glass in high-leverage moments could draw more fans to the Birmingham hub, especially Alabama A&M fans in northern Alabama while adding depth to the Stallions’ QB room. While McLeod Bethel-Thompson may push Aqeel Glass off of the Breakers, the Breakers loss may be the Stallions’ gain, for their wallets and their roster.
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