While Darrius Shepherd began the Battlehawks free agency period with his announcement via Instagram, the UFL PR department announced the additional signings of 42 players to the league. St. Louis focused on the Wide Receiver position and Defensive Line this free agency period, returning not only Shepherd but also Marcell Ateman, East St. Louis native Jeff Thomas, Hard Knocks fan-favorite Jerome Kapp, and Defensive Lineman Kobe Smith.

Marcell Ateman Wide Receiver

Despite injuries Ateman provided St. Louis with a big-bodied receiving threat that was able to isolate on the outside in man coverage. Ateman recorded 19 receptions for 259 receiving yards throughout parts of seven games in 2023. Ateman would sign with the Buffalo Bills spending approximately Seven weeks on their practice squad.

Jeff Thomas Wide Receiver

Thomas would join the New England Patriots as a UDFA in 2020. Dealing with a non-traditional training camp, Thomas would be a part of final cuts in September of 2020. In February of 2022, Thomas was selected in the USFL’s inaugural draft in the 15th round by the Pittsburgh Maulers. Despite injuries Thomas provided quality depth as a receiver and kick returner before being released on May 19th. Thomas would finish the season with the Stallions before getting released in March of 2023. Thomas played his college football at the University of Miami and was featured on the documentary 89 Blocks.

Jerome Kapp Wide Receiver

Kapp made waves during Hard Knocks performing as Marshall Mathers during the Jets rookie show. While Kapp put together decent showing with the Jets on the field it ultimately was not enough to make the squad. The Division II Kutztown alum now looks to make an impact on St. Louis in hopes of appearing in his first regular season game.

Kobe Smith Defensive Lineman

Despite a limited sample size Super Bowl Champion Kobe Smith utilized his time with the Brahmas in order to earn an opportunity with the New York Giants in NFL training camp during the 2023 season. Smith joins the Battlehawks Defensive Line after having spent time with Six teams since 2020.

Currently the Battlehawks roster sits at 68 players including Long Snapper Alex Matheson who announced via his Instagram he would be returning to the Battlehawks, however UFL Public Relations has yet to announce the signing. While many fans of the Battlehawks continue to get excited for the return of some of 2023’s fan favorites, St. Louis still has the Seven roster spots still open to complete their 2024 team.

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Patrick Rifino

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