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  • Writer's pictureAce

Lengthy DBs to Reach the Goal

There have been two more big signings for the Houston Gamblers in the past week. Robert Morris has made it clear that from now until the draft in February he is signing the best talent available. The uncertainty that there was in the Gamblers defensive backfield after season one is all but a thing of the past as the Gamblers have added five DBs this offseason. The most recent two signings are similar in stature, and could play a similar role on the Gamblers come 2023.

Stefan Claiborne / DB / Ht: 6'2" / Wt: 205 lbs / Age: 24 / 40yd: 4.48s

Claiborne turned head at Chippewa Valley HS in Clinton Township Michigan, ranking 20th overall college prospect in the state his senior year. He didn't go far for his college career staying in Michigan and playing at Western Michigan. At WMU Claiborne wasn't the flashiest player on the field recording zero interceptions, but what he did bring to the table was consistency and intensity. Racking up 107 tackles his last two seasons, 71 of them solo, he proved that when he got his hands on a ballcarrier, he had them.

Claiborne has great size for a safety being 6' 2" tall, and his speed makes him dangerous. Watching his tape in The Spring League, he is decisive and covers ground rapidly to make plays. The most impressive part of his play is his ability to fight off blocks, maintain balance, and make the play. There doesn't seem to be anything that he showed in college that he didn't bring to the professional level. Manny Bunch announced a few months back that he would be returning for season two of the USFL, and with the addition of Stefan Claiborne, he now has healthy competition.

Brandon Brooks / DB / Ht: 6'2" / Wt: 190 lbs / Age: 25 / 40yd: 4.60s

Coming from San Diego California, Brooks' football career took him all over the world. After high school, he spent some time at Riverside City College in 2016, and then University of Nevada in 2017. Eventually Brooks made his way North of the border to play two seasons at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. At Regina, Brooks recorded 55 total tackles, 2 interceptions, and 7 pass deflections. The role that Brooks played in college was similar to Claiborne in that they both were leaders on the field by way of consistency. Brooks has a bit less speed than Claiborne, but makes up for it in his football IQ and recognition.

After college, Brooks decided to take his talents even further from home to Spain to play for the Barcelona Dragons in the ELF. In 2021 while on the Dragons, Brooks arose as a leader and a playmaker, helping the team improve defensively in a season that was all but consistent in coaching staff and players. Creating turnovers and showing that he had no fear coming up to make tackles, he impressed scouts back in the states leading him to sign with the USFL.

Both of these defensive backs bring a physical edge to them that can sometimes be lacking in the positions. Robert Morris has made a point to sign defenders that could produce in every level of the defense, and he stayed true to form this week.

What do you think of the two newest additions to the future best team in the USFL? Let me know by joining the conversation in the official USFL Discord!


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