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First USFL Player to CFL, Bandits RB BJ Emmons Crosses Border To Continue Pro Career

Another USFL player has transitioned to a North American pro football league recently. Former Bandits Running Back BJ Emmons will now be joining the controversial Saskatchewan Roughriders, who look to add a spark to their backfield in the final weeks of the CFL season. For Emmons this is his first opportunity in the CFL and his first chance at pro ball since being cut by the Texans in mid August.

Emmons is already well traveled in his football career, as the North Carolina native had already attended three colleges (Alabama, Hutchinson CC, and FAU) before gaining an opportunity at the professional level. However, since Emmons left FAU he’s continued to be an extremely well-traveled athlete. Emmons despite a sporadic and oft-injured college career, did major to garner a decent amount of NFL interest, coming out of school.

Emmons during the 2021 pre season with the Raiders

Emmons would sign a contract with the Seahawks post the 2021 NFL Draft however, would be cut before training camp. The remaining part of 2021 would result in much of the same for Emmons even though despite a solid output with the Raiders in the preseason Emmons would find himself cut and resigned 3 times by the Raiders, Seahawks, and Jaguars. It wasn’t till January 4th, 2022 Emmons would be off the NFL radar temporarily only to have the USFL calling by way of the Tampa Bay Bandits.

Along with Jordan Ta’amu, Rashard Davis, and Derrick Dillon, Emmons would be solid piece in the 2022 version of Bandit Ball. Emmons amassed 349 of total offense and a touchdown during the 2022 USFL season, which in turn was good enough for him to earn an NFL contract with the Houston Texans, his 5th professional team in less than two pro seasons. Unfortunately for Emmons his stay in Houston was short lived as he was waived five days after signing a contract with the Texans and didn’t even record a statistic in his lone 2022 pre-season game.

Fortunately, for Emmons he was lucky enough to continue to garner CFL opportunity as the Roughriders running back corps is completely decimated due to injury. Going into week 18 the Riders currently have Frankie Hickson (wrist), Jamal Morrow (hand), Shaun Wilson (groin) and Kienan LaFrance (knee) all on the injury report. Emmons along with recent addition Shaq Cooper, both look to have an impact this week as the CFL comes to an end.

For a guy like Emmons thirsty for game-film, this late season showcase is exactly what he needs. For player who is fresh off the USFL season, and NFL training camp a couple big games in Regina could catapult Emmons back to relevancy in the NFL circle, or maybe even make him a star in Canada.

One thing I’d like to know moving forward is, will the signing of Emmons open the floodgates of USFL players to Canada as CFL teams look to fill out their worn-down rosters in the coming weeks? Only time will tell but it does look like Emmons will have a chance in his 3rd league with his 6th team this weekend.

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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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