AJ McCarron Returns to Lead a Stacked Battlehawks Offense

AJ McCarron Returns to Lead a Stacked Battlehawks Offense

It’s official, St. Louis! After weeks of speculation, the UFL has made the formal announcement that AJ McCarron, superstar and face of the league in 2023, will be making his return to the Battlehawks.

McCarron was a fan favorite in St. Louis during the 2023 season, and it doesn’t take a detective to figure out why. Through his two come from behind wins in the first two weeks of the season, leading the league in touchdown passes, and the downright heartwarming story of how he took less money in order to play in front of his kids, A.J. took the city by storm.

The acquisition of McCarron is the final piece to the puzzle of an absolutely stacked Battlehawks offense. Head coach Anthony Becht has made a number of key acquisitions in the UFL dispersal draft, moves set to push a team that just barely missed the playoffs in 2023 into a real juggernaut.

Wide Receivers

Wide receivers Jahcour Pearson and Blake Jackson were top offensive weapons for the Seattle Sea Dragons last year and played a critical role in getting their team to the playoffs.

Pearson especially was a standout during the 2023 season, leading the XFL in receptions and receiving yards. These two explosive weapons join the ranks of the Battlehawks’ own superstars from last year, Hakeem Butler and Darrius Shepherd, among others.

Butler was McCarron’s favorite target in 2023, utilizing his towering height to make difficult catches and his size to plow through the opposition. The All-XFL receiver led the league in touchdown catches and trailed only Pearson, now his teammate, in receiving yards.

Tight Ends

Spring football veteran Jake Sutherland is set to continue being a difference maker at tight end. Alongside his skill as a blocker, Sutherland also showcased some impressive receiving highlights, including a critical touchdown against the Defenders in Week 3.  He’s joined this year by the newly acquired, 6’6’ Bethune-Cookman Wildcat, Kemari Averett.

Running Backs

St. Louis also boasts a strong rushing game. To fill in the hole left by last year’s starter, Brian Hill, the Battlehawks have brought in NFL veteran Wayne Gallman.

Gallman featured prominently for the New York Giants in the wake of starter Saquon Barkley’s injury in 2020, starting 10 of the 15 games he played in. In Week 13 against the Seahawks, Gallman shined by rushing for 135 yards to help secure the Giants the win. He finished the season with 147 carries for 682 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns, supplemented by an additional receiving touchdown. He joins Mataeo Durant from last year.

Offensive Line

The offensive line too, received an influx of talent in the league dispersal draft, bringing in important names like Jazston Turnetine and Jack Snyder. Often the unsung heroes of any football team, the O-Line will play a critical role in helping A.J. lead his team to victory. They certainly have the talent to get it done.

Backup Quarterbacks

To backup McCarron at quarterback is the starter-quality Brandon Silvers, who helped lead the Houston Roughnecks to their first division title in 2023.

Alongside him is former Green Bay Packer, Manny Wilkins. Both will provide critical depth should anything arise in what is set to be an extremely competitive season.

How do you think the St. Louis Battlehawks will fare in 2024? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.

  1. AJ McCarron is a great example of doing things that are important to you. Sometimes you need to do the right thing financially, but on e you have done that, don’t forget to live life. AJ sure hasn’t

  2. AJ McCarron leveraged his 2023 XFL season into a return to the NFL earning almost 400k with Cin. He used the XFL to get in game shape and prove his injuries were no longer an issue. This is more a business decision than is at the surface. Besides he’s likely earning at least 10k a game plus camp money. He’s taking an injury risk playing so he needs $$.

    But its win-win for McCarron and the UFL as StL will(or is) likely go nutz with attendance – tickets are flying off the shelf. His signing only helps there.

    Best case scenario for UFL is StL breaks 50k attendance in a game, BH make it to the championship in StL and 60k show up. Then AJ gets another gig in NFL proving this model works for players entice even more vets to give the UFL a shot.

Leave a Reply