The day after the Birmingham Stallions repeated as USFL champions, head coach Skip Holtz said it was time to get back to work.
He was not kidding.
The Stallions have begun their quest to threepeat, and part of that quest is retaining players from their back-to-back championship rosters. The Stallions took a nice step forward in that quest when they re-signed two key pieces who have been with the team since 2022 this week.
When you think of the Stallions offense over the past two years, several names come to mind: quarterbacks Alex McGough and J’Mar Smith; receivers Victor Bolden, Marlon Williams, Deon Cain, and Davion Davis; tight end Jace Sternberger. However, no player has been a steadier presence over the past two seasons than running back C. J. Marable.
Marable was the second running back drafted by the Stallions in the 2022 USFL Draft, but he earned the starting job by week one. Even after the team added Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough midway through last season, Marable continued to play a key role in the offense on his way to being the team’s leading rusher in the regular season with 401 yards.
This year, Marable took on an even bigger role. After Scarbrough went down in week one with an injury, Marable carried the backfield. He also took on a bigger role as a receiver and a returner. He finished the regular season with a team-leading 525 rushing yards (fourth-best in the USFL), 235 receiving yards (third-best on the team), and 319 return yards (second-best on the team). His 1,079 all-purpose yards in the regular season were second-best in the entire USFL.
Bringing Marable back for a third season is a huge win for the Stallions. His knowledge of the offense, playmaking ability, and veteran leadership will be a key part of the Stallions’ continued success.
He doesn't receive the recognition he deserves, but no player on the Stallions offense over the past 2 seasons has been more consistent than @TorranceMarable:
The Stallions also re-signed long snapper Ryan Langan. Langan has been with the team for two seasons and has been a key part of their success on special teams. The USFL recognized this when they voted for him to be a part of the 2023 All-USFL Team—the first long snapper ever to be included. The Stallions already lost star kicker Brandon Aubrey to the Dallas Cowboys, so retaining at least one of their special teams players is ideal for them.
The Stallions will look to re-sign more players in the coming weeks. Because the Stallions retained so many players from year one to year two, there are many players whose contracts are set to expire, including quarterbacks Alex McGough and J’Mar Smith, running back Bo Scarbrough, wide receiver Marlon Williams, defensive end Dondrea Tillman, linebacker Scooby Wright, and safety JoJo Tillery among others.
Thanks to the hard work of @Thornbush2002, we over at @USFLNewsroom have been tallying up which USFL players are set to have their contracts expire before next season. Here’s who we think needs to resign to remain with the @USFLStallions 🧵
Head coach Skip Holtz and general manager Zach Potter will look to lock these guys in sooner rather than later. The more roster retention the Stallions have in 2024, the more likely it is that they repeat as champions for a third time.
Who should the Birmingham Stallions sign next? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!