As the offseason continues for our beloved USFL, the football universe has arrived on an important calendar day. The roster cut down day in the NFL. This season was a bit different than in years past as teams had only one deadline rather than the multiple trimming cut down days. Cut down days always bring anxiety to the football world as personal favorites may be on the cutting block or the occasional big time cut that takes place but us in the USFL universe look at it a bit different. With one single deadline, the USFL community gets a single snap shot of guys that just missed and a mass list of guys that could possible headline a spring football team. Below are some interesting options for the USFL franchises when looking for free agents:
Shemar Bridges, WR
With his big frame of 6’4, Shemar Bridges has large catch radius. Bridges has a knack to grab the 50/50 balls as he showed in the NFL preseason this season. The Fort Valley State product produced in college with domination. Bridges had 93 catches in 17 games at Fort Valey State with seven catches ending in the endzone. Bridges stats in college would have stood out even more but the COVID years limited games. He was added to the practice squad of the Ravens in ’22 and then a futures contract. After this year, the Ravens released him on the final cut down day. Possible practice squad candidate for sure with the Ravens. One thing that I give Bridges credit is that he stayed with the Ravens for an entire season with a good scouting organization like the Ravens. There is talent here but he needs film against next level talent. Sounds like a perfect match with the USFL and Bridges. My USFL comp is Jay Adams. Big play, willing to go over the middle and has an NFL body.
Eku Leota, OLB
One position that has produced stars for the USFL are the edge/outside linebackers with guys like Chris Odom and Breeland Speaks. Edge rushers seem to feast on the newly formed offensive lines especially early on in the season. Leota is a sack master that loves to live behind the line of scrimmage. Played big time college football with Northwestern and Auburn and proved to be a force. The undrafted free agent spent the summer with the Panthers, who currently have a strength in pass rushers thus creating a surplus. He may be a prime candidate for a practice squad since this is his rookie season but Leota may benefit with more time perfecting his craft in the USFL. Just think, this guy had 17 stops behind the line of scrimmage in his debut season with the Auburn Tigers. He tore up SEC offensive lines but an injury in his final season prevented him from standing out further. My USFL comp is Vaughn Taylor. High motor that doesn’t take plays off that needs time to diversify his skill set.
Xazavian Valladay, RB
Someone is sleeping on this fella. The running back that ended his college career at Arizona State needs more film as he was released from the Steelers on cut day. Valladay is sure handed as he lost two fumbles during his last two collegiate season combined. Those final two seasons in Tempe and at Wyoming, Valladay was the featured back 424 carries and a thousand-yard season in each season. The back also caught the ball out of the backfield with 50 catches in the final 25 games of his collegiate career. Valladay definitely can be a change of pace back as the wheels move fast on this guy. One cut and he can take it to the next level of the defense. This guy could fit in well with the USFL as he comps out to Reggie Corbin with great speed but can be featured back when called on.
James Nyamwaya – DT
This is my top guy on the defensive side of the ball out of all the cuts in the NFL. The 6-5 athletic defensive tackle could use the NFL. He started his collegiate career at a DIII school before finishing at FCS Merrimack. Watching his film, you see a guy that is always working with energy. A good first step that has progressed every single year of his football journey. Nyamwaya’s Pro Day was impressive as his vertical would have been the top outcome out of all defensive tackles at the Combine. This kid is developing and a perfect candidate for the USFL. I would love to see the USFL cash in on signing this kid after the Steelers cut him.
There you have it, Web’s names to watch out for after NFL cut day. For up to the minute USFL news, follow us at United Football Media.