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Each “Dormant” USFL Teams Can’t Miss Player for the Dispersal Draft

With December 27th looming for the USFL Phase 1 dispersal draft many USFL players from the Four “dormant” franchises will sit feverishly by their phone waiting for a call that their careers will remain active for the 2024 season. With Scooby Wright tweets opening the floodgates of rumors, speculations, and everything in between let’s take a look at Four players who should get an opportunity with a new team come March 30th, 2024.

New Jersey Generals: Hercules Mata’afa Defensive End

Stats: 27 Tackles 6.0 Sacks

Mata’afa burst onto the USFL scene in 2023 quickly becoming one of the league’s most dynamic pass rushers. After spending the last Two seasons with the Generals Mata’afa sports a long frame and a deadly rip that kept opposing QBs uneasy throughout the 2023 season. Moving into 2024 Mata’afa should have plenty of interest going forward into next season.

Philadelphia Stars: Case Cookus Quarterback

Career Stats: 3,629 Passing Yards 27 Passing Touchdowns 14 Interceptions

Cookus over the past two seasons has emerged as one of the USFL’s most efficient QBs. After leading the Stars to the 2022 Championship, Cookus took a beating in 2023 behind the Stars Offensive Line that regressed greatly this past season. Regardless Cookus still managed to be one of the USFL’s most effective QBs behind Alex McGough and should easily find employment come 2024.

Pittsburgh Maulers: Rueben Foster Linebacker

Career Stats: 52 Tackles 0.5 Sacks 1 Interception

Foster along with Tezino was a dominating force in the Pittsburgh Maulers Defense, despite missing Two games in 2023. The former Alabama 1st Round Pick may have reinvented his football career garnering interest from NFL teams participating in workouts for the “big league”. With several USFL players departing for the NFL, Foster could easily provide an upgrade for many spring football teams.

New Orleans Breakers: Sage Suratt Tight End

Career Stats: 61 Receptions 700 Receiving Yards 1 Touchdown

Surratt joined the Breakers after spending 2022 with the Stallions around with a stint with the Chargers as well. Linking up with McLeod Bethel-Thompson, the Wake Forest alum quickly became one of the best Tight Ends in the league, a position that was loaded with talent across all 8 teams. With teams constantly looking to upgrade that position across the league Surratt should once again put together another strong season wherever he ends up.

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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.



  1. Ken Granito

    December 28, 2023 at 10:10 am

    As a 54 year old person who was recently laid off after 27 years with my company, I expect things to not always change for the better. Money often plays a role as the rich must get richer. Often there is no room for greatness when companies, and leagues, when finances are concerned. With all the advances across the board in business systems allow for constant exceptions and with a staff of humans that is far too small and inexperienced issue’s constantly fall through the cracks. Greatness is not part of business today. I applaud the USFL 2023. Thanks to Darryl Johnston and Mike Pereira, they were responsible for the single best year I have seen in football in the 2000s. I recognize that the hub concept caused quite a few issues in regards to signing talent, but once on the field football was officiated to the highest levels helping to allow for great gameplay. There was a little favoritism to the offense, but that happens across the board. This was singularly the BEST true football that I have seen in far too many years. So business again gets in the way because even in a “minor” league football comes in somewhere much further down the road than first. The new league had an opportunity to bring Spring football to a whole other level. I mean this league will easily be improved talent-wise as opposed to last year with destroying 8 teams. Some of those teams will hardly be missed, but some not only had a following, but also an ability to compete. These teams will be completely deconstructed and will never again be the form they once had. If you took a snapshot of all 16 teams today the Generals likely still have the best defense and that remains after weeks of players already knowing the Generals will not be playing in 2024. and signing with teams like the Stallions. What do we care about the actual game play? It is unimportant, right? Should the rumors be correct , we should not have an XFL and USFL division, but again this is not really about football. A patch to signify origin is all that is needed. You had an opportunity to see what this league could be. A real league with real teams. The talent is there. The coaching is there to easily have 10-12 teams, but here we stand with 8 teams that will cannibalize the others and leave almost 3 teams worth of players to grow stale. I understand some of these players are not really ready for primetime, but with better coaches they can become better prepared. It is good to strengthen the league by adding St. Louis, Arlington, DC and San Antonio, but for better football and viewership. Football is the number one sport in America, far and wide, yet NBC backed out. Right there is a question that needs to be reviewed and resolved by the new league. I wish success for the new league. Players and coaches deserve to resume their careers. For players such as Toby Johnson, Case Cookus, Kyahva Tezino, Luis Perez and coaches Skip Holtz and Mike Riley deserve an opportunity to show what they can do, but I made time for the USFL. I cannot promise the same for this new league.

  2. Shimmy

    December 28, 2023 at 11:32 pm

    Ken Granito, I am total agreement with you cutting to 8 from 16 teams all the cut players coaches related personal fans of those teams, cities that even went through the years like Orlando from the thunder(WLAF) rage(XFL) Apollos(AAF) Gaurdians(XFL) Tuskers(UFL) just one example. The San Antonio’s, Birmingham’s Memphis’s Sacramento’s the list goes on, but there fans still show up. As of 12/28/23 nothing is a fact I can only hope it is more than 8, that is a lot of dreams cut. I personally thought Fox presented the USFL broadcast, like NFL quality.The 2023 season, team parity was better and overall play was better than 2022. Ken Granito your passion for USFL and the New Jersey Generals is absolutely great, do not let what may happen dim your passion it’s fans like us that actually keep the dream alive, that someday this thing is going to stick for good, My days go back to the continental football league, texas football league even the UFL Fxfl cheering for my team, would not trade it for anything hoping it will return again. Thank You

  3. Ken Granito

    December 29, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you, Shimmy. Literally that was beautiful. I will try to keep a positive outlook on your suggestion. Stay well and a happy and healthy 2024 to you.

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