Chris Odom with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL

Houston Gamblers Make Free Agency Splash In Final Moments

USFL free agency has been in a frenzy over the past week. The Houston Gamblers have signed a few more free agents – most notably Chris Odom – right as the window is about to close for good.

WR Gene Coleman II

The Houston Gamblers have secured some more depth at the wide receiver position, signing Gene Coleman II.

Gene played his college football at Delaware, where he saw a few successful seasons. Coleman racked up over 1,400 receiving yards there, alongside 7 touchdowns. His senior season in particular was one of his best, where he averaged 13.7 YPR, racking up 426 receiving yards.

Coleman garnered some NFL interest but ultimately went undrafted. Now, he’ll kick start his professional career in spring football with the Gamblers.

WR Teo Redding

A couple of days ago, the Gamblers re-signed Teo Redding. Redding is one of spring football’s most versatile and consistent receivers, never getting enough credit for what he brings to the scene.

Redding played in the XFL in 2020, with the New York Guardians. There, he posted 102 yards on eight receptions.

Teo has played in the USFL the last two seasons in Houston. Across that span he’s registered 405 receiving yards and a touchdown, which also includes a ridiculous one handed grab in season one.

Now, Redding returns to Houston in preparation for the 2024 campaign.

DE Chris Odom

The legend is back. Chris Odom needs no introduction. The USFL’s defensive player of the year in 2022 was on an absolute tear that season, finishing with 41 tackles and a league-best 12.5 sacks, which is still a modern USFL record.

Odom’s outstanding campaign earned him a preseason stint with the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL, and has been out of commission for the past year recovering from that.

Interestingly enough, Chris garnered some XFL interest this offseason, as the Orlando Guardians were looking to bring him in there. However, with the latest news of the Guardians being out of the merger, the obvious choice for Odom was Houston.

The Gamblers had an underrated defense in 2023, and now have gotten even better with the return of Odom.

CB Colby Richardson

General Manager Lionel Vital has been busy signing free agent defensive backs, and adds to the roster with Colby Richardson out of LSU.

Richardson spent most of his college days at McNeese State, where he posted 57 tackles and three interceptions in 21 starts with the team.

Colby then transferred to LSU for his final season, totaling 10 tackles in five starts (12 games played) with the team. Richardson spent some time with the Detroit Lions, and now lands in the USFL with Houston.

S Markel Roby

Another depth piece for Houston’s defense is the addition of Markel Roby, out of Pittsburgh State. Roby spent time at Briar Cliff University prior, and was a standout defensive back:

“A two-time All-Conference performer at Briar Cliff, Roby made 162 career tackles with six interceptions and 11 pass break-ups in three seasons for the Chargers. He posted 58 tackles with three interceptions and three pass break-ups in 2018…made 71 tackles and six PBUs in 2017.”

From there, Roby moved to Pittsburgh State, starting in all four games in 2020. He registered nine tackles, an interception, and a PBU.

In 2021, Markel had another solid year – posting 40 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PBU, and an interception. Now, Roby continues his professional career with the Gamblers.

Final Thoughts

It has been a busy week for Houston. After the team was dormant for over two months, Curtis Johnson and Lionel Vital have made a plethora of signings this month, starting with Tyler Coyle on December 8th.

The Houston Gamblers organization has been confirmed to be a part of the merged league, according to the USFLPA. Now, it’s a matter of determining which brand the team will fall under in 2024.

For now, the organization will be focused on the dispersal draft process, which is right around the corner.

What are your thoughts on Chris Odom returning to the Gamblers? Will Colby Richardson, Makari Roby, Teo Redding, and Gene Coleman make a difference next year? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!