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Busy Season: A Snapshot of the New Maulers

Progress is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as, “forward or onward movement toward a destination.” The Pittsburgh Maulers destination is to climb the USFL standings. Any movement above from last seasons total wins will signify progress for the Orange and Purple Army. And this offseason, the Maulers have made some noise in the free agent market.

Here is a quick breakdown on all the new members of the Maulers.

Luke Barnes- LS- Alabama State

An All-American LS is always good to have. If you've watched the Bengals without a long snapper then you understand how vital the position can be. Attending Alabama State after Junior College and became their starter. His long snap comes off crisp and doing a quick search on his film, you can see the passion that he has for the position. Having a passion for the game is a vital component of what the Maulers are looking for this offseason.

Mason Stokke - FB - Wisconsin

Stokke is a big Fullback that will fit in well with the Maulers offense. The former Badger came into Wisconsin as a lead blocker and left with a reputation for having solid hands in the passing game. He is a modern day Full Back as he can block and catch the ball. The Maulers need more players like Stokke to blend well within the scheme that they had last season.

I look forward to seeing Stokke solidifying his blocking to help the offense in the run game. He had succeeded in this role at Wisconsin and found an USFL team that resembles that Badger offense. The biggest asset that Stokke may bring is that he has good hands for the passing game. I look forward to seeing him underneath, giving the QB an option to toss the ball to. Providing the opposition the additional option that the defense will have to respect on the field.

Caleb Ham - DB - Fordham

Caleb Ham joined myself on Hammer Time this past week and what a guy! Ham loves the game and is extremely excited for the opportunity with the Maulers. Playing in Canada since leaving Fordham, he looks forward to playing in the USFL.

DC Horton scouting report on Ham is “versatile” and “twitchy”. Ham has experience playing man as an outside receiver, in the slot or even safety. The safety position is a vital position in Horton’s defense. Essentially, the QB of the defense. We saw Tornedon and Tarpley succeed in this defense and Ham is a perfect fit. The long arms of Hammong should help Ham on defense. He Loves to watch film and has good genetics, as his father is a College Football Hall of Famer. I'm really excited for Ham to be released in the Maulers defense.

Hunter Rison - WR - Grand Valley State

Hunter Rison has a lot to prove. He was solid at every stop of his collegiate career which included Michigan State. Rison brings a solid wideout threat to the Maulers. He has shown flashes of greatness. Has decent size and displays good route running. He is a perfect fit for this system and reminds me of a Bailey Gaither type, as he isn't huge but is a solid football player.

He has a great bloodline as his dad is former NFL All-Pro Andre Rison. He is willing to alter his route to get open and works hard on his route running. Always willing to lay in a block is a must in this offense and it seems that Rison likes to participate.

Nathan Hierlihy - K - Redlands

Hierlihy comes to the Maulers with a direct opportunity with the team not having a kicker on the roster due to Ramiz Ahmed joining the Packers practice squad. Hierlihy comes from a small California college and needs to continue his trend at succeeding at every level. Hierlihy has punting experience as well, which helps on the depth side with the limited rosters. Hierlihy loves the big moment as he had stated on Hammer Time last week. He enjoys the pressure. I believe that any kicker that strives in that situation will succeed as we saw time and time again in the USFL. He has kicked with success in the Spring League and is constantly working on his game at John Carney’s Kicking school.

Chase Fourcarde - QB - Nicholls State

The QB is a key position for the Maulers. Last season, they shuffled through QBs and it showed on the field. Vad Lee has not said clearly that he is coming back but if you've read through the cryptic social media posts by Vad, he seems like he is coming back. But the Maulers got a good one in Chase Fourcade.

Chase Fourcade came on a recent episode of HammerTime after he had signed and I became instantly impressed with the quarterback. Fourcade owns every major record at Nicholls State. He chose Nicholls State even when the program was at its lowest. Fourcade became the starter his freshman year and did not disappoint, almost pulling off a huge upset in Athens, Georgia. Watching his film, you can just tell that he is a gamer. Fourcade is a dual- threat QB with a strong quick release. Very good on throwing while on the move. He has a solid deep ball but thrives in the short to intermediate game. A natural leader that seems to have a game that can continue to grow in a league like the USFL. He had a solid camp in the CFL but seems to be a victim of the Canadian roster rules. He outperformed his competition but the competition was a Canadian. If Vad does comes back, the Maulers have solid depth at the most important position in the game.

Josh Simmons - WR - Prairie View A&M

The surprise of the early free agent signings was Josh Simmons when reviewing film. I watched his film wondering how he was still available. A true student of the game from SWAC school Prairie View A&M. He can play underneath in the slot and also can take the top off the defense. Watching his film, you can instantly notice him as it seems that he is moving at a different speed than the opponents. Simmons has good hands that will be obvious when he is lined up for the short routes. I love to see a guy like this get a shot because the league will be put on notice quickly.

Eric Burrell - S - Wisconsin

Another hard working and versatile DB. Burrell always seemed to make a play at Wisconsin and that will lead to success with the Maulers. He loves to come from the secondary and lay the lumber in the box. Burrell is a bit underszied but you can't tell that on the field as he plays bigger than his listed size. His speed is average but the instincts tend to make up for his lack of wheels. A good hard nosed football player that will give depth to the DB room along with Caleb Ham.

I'm really excited to see what additional options the Maulers have in store. The beginning moves have filled all the gaps that I have seen so far.

The areas of improvement would have to be line depth on both sides of the ball along with positional players that have not committed for the second season.

For all of your content needs on the Pittsburgh Maulers, please follow me on all social media platforms: @USFLNetworkWeb on Twitter, and more importantly find me in the official USFL Discord!


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