The Houston Gamblers signed two players to their roster with one of them being a USFL College Draft pick from this year.
Houston announced late Wednesday night that they will sign punter Hunter Niswander and fifth-round pick Jeffery Johnson. They also announced the two players were being moved to the inactive roster for the time being. Two players were announced to be moving to the injured reserve list that includes punter Andrew Galitz and defensive lineman Damion Daniels.
Galitz was their starting punter last season as well as their starter through the first three games of the season. So far this season, he has recorded 12 punts for 447 yards with an average net punt of 33.1. As for Daniels, he joined the team prior to this season as he has only recorded one tackle through three games.
Niswander got his first shot in professional football in the XFL where he punted for the DC Defenders averaging 44.6 yards per punt. His performance earned him mid-season All-XFL honors after the league canceled their season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL came calling afterward as he played for the Dallas Cowboys for two seasons. During his NFL career, he recorded 26 punts averaging 47.2 yards per punt with 10 of those punts being pinned inside the 20-yard line.
Johnson is the first player drafted by the Houston Gamblers in the USFL College Draft to sign with the team. He played at Tulane for four seasons before transferring to Oklahoma last season. Oklahoma had him in the starting lineup for six games as he recorded 23 total tackles throughout the year. His final college stats were nine sacks and 158 tackles. He went undrafted in this year’s NFL Draft.
More than likely, fans will see Niswander make an immediate impact in the punting game as he appears to be the replacement for Galitz. Looking from the statistical standpoint, it is an upgrade for Houston at punter as Niswander has great ball placement with his punts pinning them inside the 20-yard line. Fans should see an improvement there which will in turn help the defense as they should get more opportunities to back the offense up in a bad position.
As for Johnson, it is unknown when he will be playing and what kind of impact he will have. For the team to draft him, it appears he should be high on their priority list to play. Johnson may need some time to learn the defense, but in a few weeks may see some playing time. It’ll be interesting to see how Gamblers head coach Curtis Johnson moves Johnson along in his USFL career.