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2023 USFL Draft Recap: Michigan Panthers

On Tuesday the Michigan Panthers partook in the USFL’s 2023 College Draft. The Panthers who owned the 1st overall pick, due to their Week 10 victory against the Maulers, in the USFL “Toilet Bowl”, selected Ten players over Ten Rounds, in an effort to make the playoffs in 2023 after a 2-8 2022 season. With a new Head Coach and a revamped coaching staff, the Panther led the charge Tuesday in opening the USFL’s draft and kicking off the first domino, for the 2023 USFL season.

Round 1 Pick 1 Jarrett Horst Offensive Tackle Michigan State

Horst is a well travel Offensive Lineman who played at three colleges before ending up at Michigan State. The former Spartan started in 34 of 35 career collegiate games played. He started 19 games at left tackle in 2019-20 for the Red Wolves; started eight games at left tackle in 2021, seven games at left tackle in 2022 for the Spartans. He was a Hula Bowl participant in 2023.

Round 2 Pick 8 Tanner Morgan Quarterback Minnesota

Morgan is a 5th year graduate student, who was a prodigy of Head Coach PJ Fleck. Morgan was a 5-year starter at Minnesota, who started 45 games going 31-14 for the Golden Gophers. Despite a stellar 2019, Morgan cooled off a bit in 2020 and 2021, throwing only 17 Touchdowns to 14 Interceptions.

Round 3 Pick 16 Santrell Latham Linebacker Southern Miss

Latham earned All-Conference honors several times in college for his Five-Year career at Southern Miss. Latham recorded 9.5 Sacks, and over 200 tackles during his time with the Golden Eagles. The 6-2 225 Lb Mississippi Native may opt to try his hand at the NFL first, but the Panthers definitely found a versatile Defensive Lineman to bolster their team if he chooses the USFL.

Round 4 Pick 24 DJ Scaife Jr. Offensive Lineman University of Miami

Scaife started 51 games while at the University of Miami during his college career. While in the NFL he looks to project as a late round Guard over an Offensive Tackle. If Scaife does look to continue his career and try to the coveted Tackle spot in the NFL look for him to hone his skill set with the Panthers this spring protecting Josh Love or Eric Barriere.

Round 5 Pick 32 Dashaun White Linebacker Oklahoma

White earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors in 2022 in his 5th-Year at Oklahoma. The Texas native was a tackling machine at OU, totaling almost 170 during his college career. Look for Coach Runza to have a field day with this versatile Linebacker in room, with White joining players like Frank Ginda, Terry Myrick, and Paddy Fisher.

Round 6 Pick 40 Levi Bell Defensive Lineman Texas State

Bell earned multiple awards in college, including being named to the 3rd-Team All-American team in 2022. The versatile EDGE Lineman, came to Texas State in 2022 after spending time in Louisiana Tech, Tyler Junior College, and the College of Idaho. Bell has the potential to become one of the USFL’s premiere pass rushers in 2023, if he chooses to stay around.

Round 7 Pick 48 Gunnar Oakes Tight End Eastern Michigan

The Second Michigan player to be drafted by the Panthers, Oakes joins his teammate Terry Myrick at Ford Field this spring. Oakes didn’t have the most dynamic college career totaling 56 receptions and 621 Yards over 49 games, but provides a versatile H-Back for Offensive Coordinator Eric Marty in 2023 and beyond.

Round 8 Pick 56 Andrew Farmer II Defensive End Lane College

An HBCU alum and SIAC player of the year, Farmer totaled 11.5 sacks in 2021 only to have a “down” year in 2022. Farmer is one of many players drafted by USFL teams who can build on their college years and maximize their potential by playing in a spring league to build their value to NFL teams.

Round 9 Pick 64 Chim Okorafor Offensive Line Benedictine College

An NAIA Alum Okorafor was a key part of an offensive line that allowed 12 sacks over 13 games. While at NAIA Benedictine College Okorafor earned All-American honors his senior season for the Ravens.

Round 10 Pick Sidy Sow Offensive Line Eastern Michigan

The Third Michigan Player to return the Mitten State Sow appeared in 56 games during his time at Eastern Michigan. Sow joins teammate Terry Myrick, and fellow Draftee Gunnar Oakes representing the Panthers in their return to Michigan for 2023.

With the USFL college draft complete fans of the USFL can focus on the training camp the 2023 season. With the Panthers scheduled to take on the Gamblers April 16th, at Liberty Stadium in Memphis, fans are hoping that many of the newly selected players help improve on the 2-8 record from the 2022 season.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging out with his dogs in his off time.

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