It feels like every week there is a new player signing article, and the USFL Network is here for it! Gamblers DPP Robert Morris is putting in an enormous amount of work, and is bringing in new talent rapidly. We saw the Gamblers sign a DB and a WR two weeks ago, and this week was a repeat of signings, but with very different talent!
Keke Chism / WR / Ht: 6'5" / Wt: 214lbs / Age: 25 / 40yd: 4.69s
The newest wide receiver for the Gamblers is a welcomed change to the typical Gamblers archetype from season 1. Gamblers DPP Robert Morris said "Keke is different than anyone we had at 6'4", we did not have that type of weapon last year." At 6'4", Keke is easily the tallest man in the Gamblers wide receiver room. He is not blazing fast, but has tremendous balance and body control for someone his size. Chism will fill the outside 50/50 fade role with ease.
Keke started in D2 at Angelo State in Texas. A former opponent of his stated "he was a man among children in D2." It didn't take much time for Keke to turn head at the next level and transfer to the University of Missouri in the SEC. In his two seasons with the Tiger he racked up 76 catches, 969 yards, and 4 touchdowns. While the numbers may not blow you away, they show that he fit his role in their offense, and fit it well.
Chism is a young player, only one season out of college, which means that he sees the USFL as the necessary step in his career, and the USFL is happy to oblige. With an offseason of creating chemistry with whoever throws the ball for Houston, he should be able to make an immediate impact stretching the field.
Nick Grant / DB / Ht: 6'3" / Wt: 190lbs / Age: 23 / 40yd: 4.55s
The Gamblers have created a bit of a habit out of signing cornerbacks that the NFL considers "too small", but they broke the mold with this signing! Nick Grant measures in at 6'3", which is by far the tallest corner on this team that has Will Likely and Jamar Summers. A fairly weak point of the Gamblers defense last season was downfield against taller wide receivers i.e. Jay Adams and Osirus Mitchell. With someone who matches up better than anyone the Gamblers had last season on the outside, the defense could be well rounded from the start.
When looking at NFL scouting reports on Grant, the biggest knock they have on him is "lacks elite speed to recover if beaten on double move" which is a glaring issue. This means the Gamblers will need to be careful when deciding where grant lines up against opponents. A huge upside for Grant is the fact that he is capable of playing both safety and corner. In a league where versatility is king, being able to move around the entire secondary is a big deal.
While Nick Grant may not be super flashy, he is no doubt a playmaker with untapped potential. At Virginia he started for three seasons and accumulated 132 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, and 4 interceptions. A defensive back who doesn't shy away from tackling is something that can't be taught and will be important for the Gamblers in season 2. Grant is a welcomed addition that Gamblers fans can look forward to watching fly around all levels of the secondary come April of 2023.
Which wide receiver and defensive back duo do you think was the better pickup for the Gamblers this offseason? Nazir Streater and Deontez Alexander, or Keke Chism and Nick Grant? Let me know in the official USFL Discord!