USFL holds tryouts hosted in partnership with HUB Football

SAN DIEGO — A midseason acquisition for the Pittsburgh Maulers final season, quarterback Roland Rivers is seeking one other USFL alternative.

Awarded the Harlon Hill Trophy as the perfect participant in Division II after main Slippery Rock to the semifinals in 2019, Rivers performed 4 video games for the Maulers in 2022, finishing 50% of his passes for 366 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Released from his contract final month, Rivers attended a USFL tryout hosted in partnership with HUB Football, a gaggle based by agent Don Yee that works to attach gamers with skilled alternatives. The occasion at San Diego’s Maranatha Christian High on Sunday included 58 free agent gamers in search of an opportunity to latch on with the USFL or different professional groups. 

“It was a phenomenal opportunity to be coached by former NFL coaches,” Rivers mentioned about taking part in within the USFL final season. “People that had a ton of knowledge, poured into each and every one of us. I got signed pretty late, the last four weeks of the season, but it still was an amazing experience, playing professional football and signing my first contract.”

Rivers mentioned he is wholesome, in nice form and able to play.

“Today was a lot of fun,” he mentioned. “There’s a lot of talent out here. I feel like I put some good things on film, made some throws and didn’t turn the football over. I feel really good. It felt great out here in California today, and I’m excited for what comes next.” 

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Along with the tryout over the weekend, the USFL will maintain its first-ever, 10-round conventional faculty draft on Tuesday. Out of the greater than 400 gamers to compete within the USFL final season, 69 signed contracts to compete in 2002 NFL coaching camps, together with Pro Bowl return man KaVontae Turpin for the Dallas Cowboys.

John Peterson, the USFL’s director of participant personnel, was available for the San Diego occasion and mentioned one of many league’s major objectives is for gamers to enhance and transfer on the NFL. 

“I saw some talent out here today,” Peterson mentioned. “There were a few guys that we’ve had on our radar that we’ve wanted in the league, but most of all it was identifying some new guys, [including] some guys that can run routes. We timed some guys, just to get an idea of what they can do.”

One of the gamers who stood out through the on-field exercise was Rodell Rahmaan, a former receiver transformed to tight finish. Rahmaan attended rookie minicamp with Seattle Seahawks and was reduce simply earlier than coaching camp final season. At 6-foot-4 and 235 kilos, Rahmaan ran a 4.59 40 and seemed fluid working routes and catching the soccer.

A Columbus, Ohio, native, Rahmaan performed at Tennessee State for boyhood idol Eddie George. 

“It went perfect today,” Rahmaan mentioned. “I felt like it was everything I could ask for. Just being from Ohio, we don’t get scenery or weather like this in February. So I couldn’t ask for anything better.” 

Another pass-catcher who turned heads was receiver Brandon Jordan. The Southern California native performed at Ventura College and spent three seasons at Division III University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Texas, the place he completed his profession with 112 receptions for 1,861 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns. Jordan gained a Division III nationwide championship with the Crusaders in 2021. 

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At 6-foot-6 and 235 kilos, Jordan is a big-bodied receiver who can go up and get it within the pink zone.

“I’m just trying to make something happen,” Jordan mentioned. “I got an opportunity, so I’m just trying to take it step by step and see what I can do with it, get in front of some people and build some connections. I’m just happy I got to showcase what I can contribute to a team.” 

Also exhibiting what he can contribute was versatile defensive again Traveon Beck, who can play cornerback, slot defender and security. A Cal product, Beck has performed indoor soccer with the Vegas Night Hawks and for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats within the CFL this previous season.

Like everybody else, the 5-foor-10, 180-pound Beck is simply on the lookout for one other likelihood to indicate he belongs. 

“It would mean the world to me,” Beck mentioned when requested about taking part in within the USFL. “I’ve been grinding and fighting these past two years. I sat out a whole year and didn’t play football, so that really took a toll on me. But I just refuse to give up on my dreams, and I hope I get a shot.” 

At 6-foot-2 and 208 kilos, security Tre Webb signed as an undrafted free agent out of Montana State with the Atlanta Falcons final 12 months, however he suffered a torn groin and was reduce throughout coaching camp. 

Webb is hoping to earn one other shot with the USFL.

“It’s all about competition to me,” Webb mentioned. “I love this game, so whatever team signs me is going to get a great leader, a great guy that knows the game inside and out, and is ready to work.” 

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Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for greater than a decade, overlaying the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.

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