Cody Brown has opted to return to the Philadelphia Stars instead of heading to San Antonio with the XFL. Brown had ties with multiple XFL teams and even said he would pursue the XFL live on XFL Draft Day during an appearance on Shady Sports Network. Despite looking into his XFL options he has decided to return to the USFL.
Cody mentioned his desire to continue to build on the momentum that was created late last season as the Stars finished with a close loss in the Championship game. Brown now rejoins Channing Stribling and Dexter Williams who also chose to return to the USFL for the 2023 season, over getting selected in the XFL draft.
The Stars have also managed to re-sign multiple players they initially lost to the NFL. Devin Gray and Matt Colburn have returned as well. Currently, the focus turns to Case Cookus who currently as of writing this still has not signed a contract with any team for the 2023 season. If an NFL team doesn’t offer him a futures deal, I would assume he already has a contract offer waiting from the USFL. Bringing Cookus back would be a big step in the right direction for the league after losing several quarterbacks to the XFL.
Big Impact on the Stars
Cody Brown left an impression on his coaches despite having not played directly under any of them in the TSL. He ended up earning a starting job in a deep secondary. Collecting 61 tackles in 2022. Along the way, Cody went viral for a hit that left wide receiver Isiah Hennie quite literally missing teeth.
Stars Leading the Way
As it stands it would appear the Stars have nearly batted 1.000 on re-signing their players in 2022 with only a few exceptions. Of the several players that signed with the NFL, it appears that only Alexander and Akingbulu are sticking with their teams. I have spoken at length about the continuity the Stars built on from The Spring League.
Names like Case Cookus, Darnell Holland, Paul Terry, Jordan Suell, Devin Grey, Amani Dennis, Evan Worthington, Sean Brown, Paul Nosworthy, Blake Camper, Jordan Moore, Channing Stribling, Carroll Phillips, and Josh Banderas had all played for coaches Bart Andrus, Marcel Bellefeuille, and/or Brad Miller in the past. Others who didn’t play with a coach, like Adam Rodriguez for instance had played against current defensive line coach Brandon Maguire at previous stops.
Channing Stribling, Cody Brown, and Dexter Williams chose to return to the USFL, in part because of the atmosphere on this team. Defending as USFL North champions in 2023 has been a reoccurring theme I have heard when talking to the players who have made this decision so far. Pointing to the atmosphere in the locker room and family mentality with the rest of the roster as reasons for returning. The Stars’ level of continuity was unrivaled in the USFL in 2022, and it looks to be an advantage once again in 2023. Could this bond lead to another championship trip in 2023?