In addition, the team signed nine of their returning players to LOI’s on Monday, and brought in a new face: kicker Andre Szmyt.
WR Marcell Ateman
Just like Darrius Shepherd, Marcell Ateman has returned to the St. Louis Battlehawks. He was the team’s first overall pick at the skills position in the XFL draft back in 2023, and was a weapon for AJ McCarron this past season when healthy.
Ateman started in six of seven games played with St. Louis in 2023, totaling 259 receiving yards. This led to an NFL stint with the Buffalo Bills. Now, Ateman will return to a WR room that is even more loaded than it was before.
WR Jeffrey Thomas
Jeffrey Thomas is back in the spring football scene. He has signed a LOI with St. Louis, adding to the roster ahead of training camp. Thomas was in the USFL in 2022, with the Pittsburgh Maulers and Birmingham Stallions – finishing with six receptions for 54 yards.
Since then, Thomas has been looking for his next opportunity. Jeffrey played his college ball at Miami, where he posted 1,316 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He contributed on special teams as well, racking up almost 1,500 KR/PR yards across that span.
It’s going to be an uphill battle to make the regular season roster with the amount of talent in St. Louis right now, but if anyone can overcome the odds, it’s Jeffrey Thomas.
DL Kobe Smith
BREAKING: The St. Louis Battlehawks are signing DT Kobe Smith, per source.
Smith spent the 2023 #XFL season with San Antonio, totaling 7 tackles & 0.5 sacks in 3 games played. He then spent time with the New York Giants this past preseason, and now joins STL for 2024. #UFLpic.twitter.com/b79sXQ8Wl3
Kobe Smith is back, this time with the Battlehawks. The former San Antonio Brahma spent some time with the New York Giants following the XFL season, and remained a free agent for the last few months.
Smith played in three games for San Antonio in 2023, totaling 7 tackles and 0.5 sacks. He had an excellent career at South Carolina, totaling 84 tackles and two sacks during that tenure. Kobe has had a couple of other NFL opportunities as well, with Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. Now, he’ll look to bring depth to a deep defensive line in St. Louis.
K Andre Szmyt
The St. Louis Battlehawks finally have a kicker. The team had unprotected Donny Hageman, which left the door wide open at the position.
After deciding not to draft any kickers during the past two dispersal rounds, the Battlehawks have come to terms with Andre Szmyt, out of Syracuse.
Szmyt played at Syracruse for five years, finishing with 85 successful field goals made on 105 attempts (81%). He was notably 57-60 between 20-39 yards, but struggled from 40-59 yards out with a final tally of 27-43.
Szmyt has spent some time in NFL camps, most recently with the Chicago Bears. After being released in August, Szmyt now reunites with Punter Sterling Hofrichter with the Battlehawks in the UFL.
The St. Louis Battlehawks currently have 69 players on their roster, with seven openings left for Training Camp. Obviously, DPP Dave Boller and Anthony Becht are looking to keep a spot open for QB AJ McCarron, for a potential return.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Battlehawks also aim to re-sign Nate Meadors, who is once again a free agent. Meadors was a starter in the secondary in 2023, and had signed a LOI to come back, prior to seeing another NFL opportunity with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What are your thoughts on these free agent additions for the St. Louis Battlehawks? Which UFL prospects should the team pursue? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!