Birmingham Stallions Sign 10 Players In UFL Free Agency | Mark Gilbert

Birmingham Stallions Sign Ten Players In UFL Free Agency

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, 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.

WR Kevin Austin

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.

OL Deonte Brown

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.

DB Ike Brown

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.

DE Owen Carney

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.

DT Carlos Davis

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.

DB Mark Gilbert

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.

RB Larry Rountree III

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.

OL Josh Sokol

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.

TE Jordan Thomas

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Regardless, we know General Manager Zach Potter will have some trick up his sleeve. Stay tuned to see who’s the final piece of the puzzle for the Stallions.

What are your thoughts on these signings for the Birmingham Stallions? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

  1. One of the best things that can be said of the Stallions is they are a real entity. They have done a good job of being loyal and keeping tradition while at the same time signing and growing the talent into better players. It does help that players want to be in Birmingham playing for a proven program. There are some risks on the team, but with the larger camp size there is room to bring those people to camp to prove what they can do. As far as QB there are some tough calls. J’Mar is J’Mar. He has yet to mature, but if he does can we see another Alex McGough. Adrian Martinez may be the future and Jalen Morton is still on the team. As Holtz & Potter know talent he may yet surprise us, but the question was about a 4th QB. As other than looking up Wikipedia and Football database I have not scouted the likes of the players on this list, but Todd Centeio’s numbers intrigue me. They seem like a player’s stats, but assuming Ta’amu is not really available, I have the following wish list. First & foremost, Garrett Gilbert. Behind this line and with the tools he will find the right receivers and become the leader they need on the field. It doesn’t mean J’Mar can’t do it, but we are talking about a 4th. He also would vie for QB1 duties. I also like Kenji Bahar here too. If we are looking for a end of the bench player, is Kevin Anderson out there? Though many people could fill this spot, he might be good under Skip Holtz. If they want a guy to run a few packages maybe De’Andre Johnson might be a good fit as he is capable and remains a threat from any place on the field. If looking for lighting to strike twice, Alex McGough lite would be Dakota Prukop. He has the leg and the arm maybe even more of a team first guy. Not sure any of these guys will even be pulled in, but some interesting options.

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