Looking At The 2024 All-UFL Selections & List Of Nominees | Michigan Panthers Marcus Simms

Looking At The 2024 All-UFL Selections & List Of Nominees

Today, the UFL announced the official All-UFL selections from the 2024 season. It’s been an entertaining year of football, with plenty of talent featured across all eight teams.

Now that the league has released the picks for the All-UFL First Team, we were exclusively given the list of nominees for each position group, which gives us a better understanding for who the UFL saw as the top playmakers in the league this year. The nominees were presented to coaches and media to cast their votes on who they thought belonged on the official list.

Clearly, it was difficult for the league to make these decisions. There were plenty of athletes who deserved to be named – and, there were others who were snubbed from being nominated all together.

For clarification purposes, anyone who was not named as a nominee was not able to be given by votes by the voters.

Offense

Quarterback

At the quarterback position, Adrian Martinez was selected. In this category, the three selections to vote for were: A.J. McCarron (Battlehawks), Adrian Martinez (Stallions), and Luis Perez (Renegades).

While Martinez feels like the frontrunner to win the league MVP award, one could make an argument for Luis Perez to be the All-UFL QB. He led the league in almost every passing statistic, and had arguably the best season of his spring football career. McCarron missed two games with injury, which hurt his chances down the stretch.

Running Back

Jacob Saylors, who has had a tremendous season for the St. Louis Battlehawks, was selected as the All-UFL RB. Jacob burst onto the scene in week three, making the most of his opportunity, and running with it the rest of the way.

Nominees: Jacob Saylors (Battlehawks), Matt Colburn (Panthers), John Lovett (Brahmas)

Wide Receiver

This position was extremely difficult to narrow down. Hakeem Butler was the obvious choice after his dominance, but the rest of the picks could go either way. Ultimately, Marcus Simms and Daewood Davis were the selections. Davis and Simms have both been two of the most electrifying players in the league this year.

Nominees: Marcus Simms (Panthers), Daewood Davis (Showboats), Jontre Kirklin (Brahmas), Hakeem Butler (Battlehawks), Javonta Payton (Renegades)

It’s a bit strange that Houston Roughnecks WR Justin Hall wasn’t included on the list of nominees. He was one of just three receivers to surpass 600 yards this season. Also, Kirklin absolutely should have had his name called…he’s been bringing his own juice every single week.

Tight End

This one is a bit controversial. Jace Sternberger, the former All-USFL TE with the Birmingham Stallions, took home the award. Many expected Sal Cannella to have his name on the list, after leading all tight ends in receiving yards and touchdowns. Jace had just 43 yards less than Cannella, though, on 28 less catches.

Nominees: Jace Sternberger (Stallions), Cody Latimer (Brahmas), Sal Cannella (Renegades)

Offensive Line

Judging offensive line play is never easy. The league selected the following five linemen for the All-UFL list: OT Jaryd Jones-Smith, OT Bobby Evans, OG Zack Johnson, OG Kohl Levao, and C Mike Panasiuk.

OT Nominees: Jaryd Jones-Smith (Battlehawks), Cam Carter (Roughnecks), Chuck Filiaga (Brahmas), Bobby Evans (Renegades), Alex Taylor (Stallions)

OG Nominees: Vadal Alexander (Battlehawks), Zack Johnson (Stallions), Kohl Levao (Brahmas), Ryan Nelson (Panthers), Dru Samia (Renegades)

C Nominees: Mike Panasiuk (Battlehawks), Noah Johnson (Panthers), Michael Maietti (Defenders)

It feels like the league overlooked several O-Linemen who should have been considered. Liam Fornadel (Defenders) is the most obvious. He didn’t allow a single sack, playing every snap this year, and was one of the highest graded lineman via PFF. Jake Burton, Jake Lacina, Rashaad Coward, are also examples of those who should have been in consideration as nominees.

Defense

Defensive Line

On the defensive line, Daniel Wise and Carlos Davis were selected to the All-UFL team. Davis was one of the league leaders in sacks, with seven. Wise missed the last few weeks of the season with an injury, but was performing at a very high level when active.

Nominees: Carlos Davis (Stallions), Daniel Wise (Panthers), Jalen Redmond (Renegades)

Personally, I would have loved to see Jordan Thompson (Stallions) as a nominee. He was one of the top tackles on the interior all year long.

EDGE

As for edge rushers, Breeland Speaks and Chris Odom were named to the list. Speaks is a favorite to win the DPOY award, after leading the league in sacks – which is something he did in the USFL a year ago as well. Odom had an impressive season, coming off of an ACL tear that kept him sidelined in 2023.

Nominees: Breeland Speaks (Panthers), Chris Odom (Roughnecks), Pita Taumoepenu (Battlehawks)

Genuine question: where is Malik Fisher? Fisher ended up as T-2nd in the UFL with seven sacks, showing a ton of growth from a season ago. Swing and a miss for Malik to not be listed as a nominee.

Linebackers

Interestingly enough, the league only featured two linebackers on their All-UFL list. Typically, three have been nominated in the past. Willie Harvey and Tavante Beckett were the selections, and both absolutely deserve their names highlighted.

Nominees: Frank Ginda (Panthers), Tavante Beckett (Brahmas), Willie Harvey (Battlehawks), Anthony Hines III (Defenders), Jordan Williams (Brahmas)

Kyahva Tezino (Stallions) not being named as a nominee is rather questionable. He’s been one of the league leaders throughout the season, showing up in clutch moments as well.

Cornerbacks

The UFL opted to list three cornerbacks: Nate Brooks, Ajene Harris, and Deandre Baker. All three have had solid seasons. At the same time, there were plenty of other names who deserve to be in this conversation.

Nominees: Ajene Harris (Renegades), Deandre Baker (Defenders), Nate Brooks (Panthers), Kiondre Thomas (Roughnecks), Colby Richardson (Roughnecks)

The fact that Darrius Phillips (Brahmas), Levonta Taylor (Panthers), Chris Payton-Jones (Battlehawks), Michael Joseph (Defenders), Delonte Hood (Renegades) and others were left off this list is…interesting.

Safeties

The UFL named Kai Nacua and A.J. Thomas to the All-UFL list, and these picks certainly make sense. Thomas and Nacua have dominated the league this year with elite play, and both are on their way to the NFL following the season.

Nominees: A.J. Thomas (Stallions), Kai Nacua (Panthers), Qwynnterrio Cole (Battlehawks)

It is surprising that Markel Roby (Roughnecks) wasn’t nominated. He proved to be one of the best defenders in the second half of the season.

Special Teams

The UFL had four specialists earn awards on the All-UFL First Team. Kicker Jake Bates, Punter Marquette King, Long Snapper Jordan Ober, and Return Specialist Chris Rowland all had their names called on the release today.

K Nominees: Jake Bates (Panthers), K Andre Szmyt (Battlehawks), K Matt Coghlin (Showboats)

P Nominees: Brad Wing (Brahmas), Marquette King (Renegades), Brock Miller (Panthers)

LS Nominees: Jordan Ober (Panthers), Logan Klusman (Roughnecks), Rex Sunahara (Brahmas)

RS Nominees: Chris Rowland (Defenders), Darrius Shepherd (Battlehawks), Juwan Manigo (Renegades)

It would have been appreciated to see returners split between kickoffs and punts, which is what the USFL featured a year ago. Rowland and Shepherd were neck and neck in both categories, and could’ve been given awards separately.

Final Thoughts

With the amount of talent in the UFL this year, it is by no means easy to make choices for player awards. There are arguments for everyone who was nominated – and, there’s plenty of cases to be made for those who weren’t even given a vote.

It’s also worth noting that the nominee list was curated prior to week ten’s games. So these awards were mainly looking at the first nine matchups of the season.

As the UFL heads towards the postseason, Player of the Year Awards, MVP, and Coach of the Year should be announced later this week.

What are your thoughts on the 2024 All-UFL Selections and Nominees? Who did the UFL get right, and which players were snubbed? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

 

Fubo