During Record-Setting Season, 28 Top Performing USFL Players Honored For ‘Incredible Football’
CANTON, Ohio, June 21, 2023 – Heading into the playoffs this weekend in Birmingham, Ala., and Canton, the USFL today announced the 2023 All-USFL Team. From a league of 400 players, 28 earned this prestigious selection as top performers this season. Collectively, these players set 11 modern USFL records.
We are very grateful to our players, coaches, and general managers for the brand of football played in USFL Season 2. There were a lot of difficult decisions to help determine the best players at 28 positions on offense, defense, and special teams,” said Daryl Johnston, President of Football Operations. “There were many players who were worthy of recognition in our highly competitive second season. Every team had at least two players named All-USFL, which is proof of the remarkable parity across the league. USFL fans are the ultimate winners as they got to enjoy watching these outstanding athletes play some incredible football.”
All-USFL OFFENSE (11)
The backfield has Birmingham Stallions Quarterback Alex McGough, (3-time Offensive Player of the Week who set record with 25 total touchdowns), Houston Gamblers Running Back Mark Thompson (set record with 14 rushing touchdowns) and New Orleans Breakers Running Back Wes Hills (set two records with 957 total yards including 679 rushing yards). Catching passes are three of the USFL’s most dynamic playmakers in Philadelphia Stars Wide Receiver Corey Coleman (set record with 669 receiving yards), Gamblers Wide Receiver Justin Hall (47 receptions for 515 yards and 4 touchdowns), and Stallions Tight End Jace Sternberger (set record with 7 receiving touchdowns). On the offensive line are New Jersey Generals Center Jake Lacina and Guard Calvin Ashley (both anchored the USFL’s top rushing attack), versatile Breakers Guard Paul Adams, Gamblers Tackle Avery Gennesy, and Memphis Showboats Tackle Jarron Jones (repeats after being named 2022 All-USFL).
ALL-USFL DEFENSE (11)
The defensive line is anchored by Generals Defensive Tackle Toby Johnson (repeats after being named 2022 All-USFL), Showboats Nose Tackle John Atkins, Michigan Panthers Defensive End Breeland Speaks (2-time Defensive Player of the Week with league-leading 9 sacks) and Stars Defensive End Adam Rodriguez (tied-third in sacks and tied-sixth in tackles for losses). In the middle are Panthers Linebacker Frank Ginda (set record as 4-time Defensive Player of the Week with league-leading 104 defensive tackles), Maulers Linebacker Kyahva Tezino (94 defensive tackles and 2 interceptions), and Generals Linebacker Chris Orr (82 defensive tackles and 2.5 sacks). The defensive backfield includes Pittsburgh Mauler teammates Cornerback Mark Gilbert (league-leading 4 interceptions) and Safety Arnold Tarpley III (tied-second with 3 interceptions along with 42 defensive tackles), Generals Cornerback DJ Daniel (tied-second with 3 interceptions along with 30 defensive tackles), and Gamblers Safety Manny Bunch (54 defensive tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception).
ALL-USFL SPECIAL TEAMS (6)
The USFL takes pride in special teams with innovative rules that make professional football kick returns exciting again while also emphasizing player safety. Many USFL players provided fans with jaw-dropping moments throughout the season. The Maulers embodied special teams talent with Kick Returner Josh Simmons (set record with 862 kick return yards) and Punt Returner Isiah Hennie (set record with 297 punt return yards). No football fan will soon forget the eight field goals in one game by Stars Placekicker Luis Aguilar (set record with 94 kicking points). Stallions teammates Punter Colby Wadman (set record with 48.7-yard punt average) and Long Snapper Ryan Langan helped Birmingham to a league-best 8-2 record. Finally, Showboats Special Teamer Vinny Papale is recognized as epitomizing the fast, physical, and tough identity of USFL players.
Last Monday, the USFL began a two-week fan vote on social media for 2023 Play of the Year. Later this week, the league will honor the Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year, as well as announce each team’s nominee for USFL Sportsman of the Year.
Next week after the playoffs for the North Division Championship in Canton (Saturday 8:00 PM ET on NBC and Peacock) and South Division Championship in Birmingham (Sunday 7:00 PM ET on FOX), the USFL will announce Special Teams Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year. Most Valuable Player and Sportsman of the Year will be announced in Canton on Friday, June 30. The 2023 season will conclude with the USFL Championship Game on Saturday, July 1 at 8:00 PM ET on NBC and Peacock. Fans can go to theUSFL.com to purchase postseason tickets.
About the United States Football League (USFL):
Fast, physical, and fun, the USFL is a fan-first, stand-alone professional spring football league. Run by experienced football leaders, the USFL kicked-off April 15, 2023, becoming the first nationally televised spring league in 38 years to begin a second season. FOX Sports and NBC Sports are official media partners, presenting all 43 regular- and postseason games for the eight-team league that plays in Canton, Ohio, Birmingham, Ala., Memphis, Tenn, and Detroit. Former NFL Dallas Cowboys player and current FOX NFL analyst Daryl Johnston is President of Football Operations. Former NFL Vice President of Officiating and current FOX NFL analyst Mike Pereira is Head of Officiating. “United By Football,” USFL fans can find scheduling and ticketing information at theUSFL.com and follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.