After completing the various UFL drafts, the Birmingham Stallions have continued to add to their roster via free agency. The Stallions added 10 players last week that should strengthen their roster heading into camp. Let’s take a look at each one.
WR Slade Bolden
As I previously reported per @TheBamaStandard, Slade Bolden is signing w/ the @USFLStallions. Bolden won the CFB Playoff w/ Bama in ‘20. His final season he had 42 recs for 408 yards & 3 TDs. He has also spent time w/ the Ravens & Falcons.
As I previously reported, former Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Slade Bolden will be joining the Stallions in 2024. To the elation of Alabama fans, the UFL confirmed the news with a press release. It should be fun to watch Bolden in Cardinal and Gold.
The Stallions added another wide receiver in former Notre Dame standout Kevin Austin. Austin is an athletic specimen. He ran a 4.4 40 and has a 40 inch vertical and 80 inch wingspan. His last year at Notre Dame he had 48 catches for 888 yards and seven touchdowns.
He signed with Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent and spent the 2022 season on their practice squad. He was cut at the end of this past preseason and now will look to make a name for himself in the UFL.
Kevin Austin is an athletic specimen: 4.4 40, 40 in vert, 80 in wingspan. 48 recs for 888 yds & 7 TDs his last year at ND. Signed w/ JAX as an UDFA & spent '22 on their PS. Was cut at the end of '23 preseason. Great add to the WR room. Welcome to BHAM, @Ka_szn!#UFL x #GiddyUp🐎 pic.twitter.com/FfxonDFxmx
In addition to Bolden, the Stallions added another former Alabama player: offensive lineman Deonte Brown. Brown is actually from Alabama, growing up in Decatur. He won two college football national championships at Alabama and was a First Team All-SEC player, allowing zero sacks over his 916 pass snaps in college.
Brown was drafted by Carolina in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. He spent the past three seasons there in various capacities, but he did not sign a futures contract at the end of the 2023 season. Thus, he became a free agent and signed with Birmingham where he will look to jumpstart his career.
Deonte Brown is coming home. The Decatur, AL native & UA grad is joining the Stallions. The 2x CFB champ & 1st team All-SEC player allowed 0 sacks over 916 snaps at UA. Drafted by CAR in the 6th round in '21, he spent 3 seasons there and just became a FA.#RollTide x #GiddyUp🐎 pic.twitter.com/LTIZ828FrY
The Stallions also added former New Orleans Breaker cornerback Ike Brown. Brown was with the Breakers in 2022 and was one of the top corners in the league. He played well enough to earn an NFL spot with the Raiders, ultimately spending the 2022 season on their practice squad.
He was cut by the Raiders at the end of the 2023 preseason and did not get picked up by anyone else. He decided to return to spring football with the Stallions and will be a nice addition to their secondary.
Stallions add CB @_IkeBrown. Brown played at @FIUFootball w/ former Stallions QB & #USFL MVP Alex McGough. Brown went on to play for the Breakers in 2022 & earned a spot w/ Las Vegas. He spent last season on their practice squad but was waived at the end of camp this past fall. https://t.co/vhinJVrhA2
The Stallions also added former Illinois defensive end Owen Carney. Carney had a very successful collegiate career at Illinois, earning All-Big Ten honors twice. His senior year he had 46 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks.
Carney spent 2022 on the Bengals practice squad, but he was released at the end of the 2023 preseason. Like several of these other free agents, he will get a chance to show what he can do in the UFL.
Owen Carney was a MONSTER at Illinois. The 2x All-B10 selection had 46 tckls, 8 TFL, & 6.5 sacks his senior year. Was on CIN PS in '22 but was released at the end of this past preseason. Will get a chance to show what he can do in the #UFL
A familiar face the Stallions added was defensive tackle Carlos Davis. Davis is the twin brother of former Stallion Khalil Davis. Carlos signed with the Stallions earlier this offseason but returned to the NFL shortly thereafter. Now, he returns to Birmingham and will look to make a big impact in 2024.
BREAKING: The Birmingham Stallions are signing DB Mark Gilbert, per source.
Gilbert was the top CB in the #USFL in 2023, earning All-USFL honors while leading the league with 15 PBU's and 4 INT. Spent time with the Dolphins in the preseason. Massive FA pickup. #UFLpic.twitter.com/5VgncEFkbr
Maybe the biggest signing for the Stallions was cornerback Mark Gilbert. Gilbert was arguably the best defensive back in the entire USFL in 2023. He played for the Pittsburgh Maulers, who made it to the USFL Championship against the Stallions behind their stout defense.
Gilbert was All-USFL in 2023, racking up 38 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a league-leading four interceptions and 16 pass breakups. He will be an immediate difference maker for the Stallions in 2024 along with former Maulers linebacker Kyahva Tezino, who he joins in Birmingham.
The Stallions also added a running back in Larry Rountree III. Rountree played at Missouri where he was an All-SEC selection. He finished his college career with 3,720 rushing yards and averaged 5 yards per carry playing against stout defenses in the SEC. He also added 40 rushing touchdowns.
He was drafted in the sixth round by the Chargers. He saw some playing time his rookie year, rushing for 87 yards and one touchdown. He was on Houston’s practice squad for part of this past season but ended up being a free agent. The Stallions swooped in and added him to their already loaded backfield.
Larry Rountree was All-SEC player at Mizzou. Finished w/ 3,720 rush yds (5.0 ypc) & 40 TDs. Was drafted in 6th round by LAC. Rushed for 87 yds & 1 TD rookie yr. Spent some time on HOU PS this past year. Gonna make a splash in the #UFL!
You can never have enough offensive linemen, especially in spring football. The Stallions have taken that approach this offseason, loading up with 16 offensive linemen. Another recent addition is center Josh Sokol.
Sokol was a three-year starter at Sacred Heart where he was a two-time First Team All-NEC selection. He signed as an undrafted free agent in 2022 with the Vikings and spent the season on their practice squad. He was released at the end of the 2023 preseason and will get another shot in the UFL.
Josh Sokol adds depth to BHAM OL. 3-year starter at Sacred Heart. Was 2x 1st-Team All-NEC selection. Signed as an UDFA in '22 w/ MIN & spent last season on their PS. Was released at the end of '23 preseason but gets another shot in #UFL.
The Stallions nabbed another former-SEC player in tight end Jordan Thomas. Thomas was in the XFL last year, playing for the Orlando Guardians. He only had eight catches, but three of those eight went for touchdowns. He had some acrobatic plays, especially for a man of his size. He will add another potent weapon to the Stallions offense in 2024.
It is worth noting that Thomas spent the 2023 NFL season with the Panthers. He was on their practice squad not as a tight end, however, but as a linebacker. I assume Thomas will play tight end for the Stallions, but it sounds like he can play both sides of the ball if necessary. Or it is always possible he will continue his transition to defense with the Stallions. Either way, he could be a big contributor on special teams, which is crucial in a spring league.
After several #NFL seasons, Jordan Thomas spent last year w/ ORL in the #XFL. Only had 8 catches but 3 of them were TDs. Thomas is a big, athletic playmaker. @_Jstern, @MarcusBaugh85, & him will be the scariest TE room in the #UFL 😱
The Stallions roster now sits at 74 players, meaning they can bring in one more player. It will be interesting to see who it is. Many fans want another quarterback to compete with the three currently on the roster in camp, and Coach Skip Holtz has spoken publicly about how that is something they are considering.
If BHAM was to bring in a 4th QB, who would you want it to be?
• Brandon Silvers • Tanner Morgan • Kelly Bryant • TJ Edwards • Connor Degenhardt • Carson Strong • Montell Cozart • DJ Golatt • Todd Centeio • Tim DeMorat