After going unselected in both the USFL draft and the Supplemental draft, not only did Echols-Luper find himself being signed for the 2022 USFL season, he found himself as one of the top performers in the league. With over 800 all-purpose yards in 10 games, his stats as a role player, and return man are nothing to sneeze at.
Coaches Get Creative with Cam
Through a 9-1 regular season Echols-Luper affected the Generals offense in the passing game as a as passer and a receiver, and on the ground as a runner. However he did the majority of his damage on the special teams. With 26 kick returns for 749 yards and a 28.8 yard average per return.
He fell just 48 yards shy of tying for the league lead, and managed the second best return average of any returner with more than 2 attempts. Showcasing his versatility, and doing much of the same things that made him so good in college.
He would end up 1 of 1 for 14 yards as a passer. One carry on a beautiful double reverse for 24 yards and a touchdown. He also managed 3 receptions for 38 yards including 26 after the catch. He was targeted just four times all season but his one target that fell incomplete accounted for a large pass interference call.
In a league like the USFL a player like Echols-Luper is so valuable numbers can’t quantity the comfort level that Mike Riley is able to feel thanks to his presence on the roster. Before it was allowed, Riley had a defacto 3rd string quarterback. However, Echols-Luper also serves as a defacto 4th string running back, a depth piece at wide receiver, and a primary kick returner.
On any other offense, he might be the focal point of the game plan. On a squad that features so many prominent performers in the run and pass game Echols-Luper is relegated to gadget plays and special teams for now. However I believe if he doesn’t receive NFL interest and returns to the Generals, he will be in line for a much larger role in 2023 and beyond in the USFL.
I personally believe going forward more and more spring football teams will start to employ former quarterbacks who have moved to other positions. Guys like Tyler Palka, or Eric Barriere will become more common.
An argument could be made the typically smaller rosters of spring football leagues makes men like this even more valuable. Ten to fifteen years ago players wouldn’t even consider a position-less player. Now they seek them out to fill roles such as the one Echols-Luper found himself in during the 2022 season.
An Eye On The Playoffs
With week 10 in the rear view mirror, the Generals and Mike Riley can look for more ways to get Echols-Luper involved in a win-or-go-home match with Philadelphia. It’s no secret Mike Riley likes guys that can fill multiple roles, and there is no player more versatile than Cam Echols-Luper on their roster. Now is the time to truly unleash his ability to affect the game in many ways.
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