Since the USFL season ended, the two-time champions, the Birmingham Stallions, have lost 14 players to the NFL. That is a sizable portion of their roster, and it will be a challenge for head coach Skip Holtz and general manager Zach Potter to replace all those key contributors.
The Stallions have sent 14 players to the NFL. That’s…
➖56% of their starters ➖35% of their active roster ➖28% of their entire roster
Smith was the second quarterback drafted by the Stallions in 2022. He entered the year as the backup to future 2023 USFL MVP Alex McGough but took over as the starter after leading the team to a dramatic last-minute win in week one against the New Jersey Generals.
After the Stallions first championship in 2022—a game which Smith started but McGough ultimately finished and won—there was speculation about who would be the starter in 2023. The Stallions were tight-lipped about it up until the opening game when it was announced J’Mar Smith would be the starter again. His season got off to an ideal start as his first pass was a 61-yard touchdown to Austin Watkins Jr.
However, Smith went out with an injury at the end of the first half only to be replaced by McGough. Smith had to have season-ending surgery, opening the door for McGough to take over as the lone first-string quarterback. McGough took his opportunity and ran with it, having arguably the best spring football season in modern history.
Was Alex McGough’s 2023 season the best we’ve seen from a modern spring football player (AAF, XFL, USFL)?
That season landed McGough in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and off the Stallions roster. There were questions about whether Smith would be back as his two-year deal was set to expire. To the relief of Stallions fans everywhere, Smith hinted he would be coming back recently.
Smith played for coach Skip Holtz at Louisiana Tech. His knowledge of Holtz’s offense translated to immediate success with the Stallions. He finished 2022 with 158 completions of 284 attempts (55.6%) for 1,891 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also was able to make plays with his legs, rushing 46 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns. Despite missing some time due to injuries, Smith still finished third in the league in most major passing categories in 2022.
Last season, @jMar_Smith completed 158 of 284 passes for 1,891 yds and 12 TDs. He also ran for 237 yds and three TDs. Despite injuries, Smith still finished 3rd in most major passing categories. Smith was a key piece of the Stallions’ 2022 championship run pic.twitter.com/FnCkTO6FPD
Now, Smith projects to be the Stallions starter in 2024 as they begin their quest to three-peat. The good news for Smith is that there should be lots of familiar faces around him. Due to season-ending injuries in 2023, the Stallions look to return as many as eight of their 2022 offensive starters next season. Smith should have weapons Bo Scarbrough, Marlon Williams, and Adrian Hardy back among others, making the Stallions offense just as dangerous in 2024 as ever. There is no slowing down for Holtz, Potter, and the entire Stallions organization. They are always full steed ahead.
The ironic thing about all the injuries the Stallions suffered in ‘23 is that most of their ‘22 starters could be back in ‘24, making the reloading process much simpler. Depending on how the o-line shakes out, B’ham could have as many as 8 of their ‘22 offensive starters back. https://t.co/lFygKkPFEY