Last weekend, the United States Football League (USFL) completed its second season, thereby becoming the first professional spring football league to survive more than one complete season. Options for players after their college careers have now expanded to include the NFL, the Canadian Football League, the USFL and the Arena Football League.
During its inaugural season, the USFL used the unusual strategy of playing games in just a single stadium located in Birmingham, Alabama. While unusual, there were some benefits, the most obvious of which was the virtual elimination of travel costs for the teams. Not surprisingly, attendance appeared poor with no ability to build a “home team” following, and the League seemed to confirm this by declining to release attendance figures after the first game. This year, the League “expanded” not by adding teams but by adding stadiums in Memphis, Tennessee, Canton, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan.
Four Ducks continued to chase their professional dreams in the USFL this season, playing for three of the League’s eight teams.
Tyree Robinson plays safety for the Birmingham Stallions and this year became a two-time USFL Champion as the Stallions defeated the Pittsburgh Maulers 28 – 12 in the Championship game played in Canton. Robinson accounted for 37 tackles during the season, which was the second-highest production on the Stallions defense. He did not record a sack or an interception this season.
Probably the biggest surprise was finding Dakota Prukop on the roster of the New Jersey Generals as a quarterback. Prukop had a famously invisible career at Oregon after becoming a Graduate Transfer to Eugene from Montana State. Prukop played in only six games for the Ducks although he completed over 65 percent of his passes. After struggling against Washington State, Prukop was benched, yielding to then-Freshman Justin Herbert who went on to make something of a name for himself at Oregon and points south.
With the Generals this year, Prukop had the highest completion percentage of the three quarterbacks the team used at 62.0. He went 31 – 50 for 312 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for a score and earned a 91.4 QB rating.
Also toiling for the Generals, but on the other side of the ball at linebacker was former Duck Bryson Young. Young registered 1.5 sacks in 2023 along with 28 tackles
Oregon’s final Alum in this year’s USFL was Defensive Tackle Jordon Scott who played with the Philadelphia Stars. Scott had a single sack on the season and 13 total tackles.
After the 2022 season, 15 USFL players made the final 53-man roster for an NFL team at the start of the 2022-23 season. Finding a way into the NFL is undoubtedly the goal for most USFL players and we always hope these Ducks will get a look.