The Michigan Panthers signed 3 players on Sunday per the UFL Communications Department. The Panthers have signed linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd, wide receiver Lance Lenoir, and defensive end Mika Tafua.

WR Lance Lenoir – Western Illinois (29 y/o, 5’11, 210 lbs)

Lance Lenoir is back with the Michigan Panthers after a season away. Lenoir led the Panthers in receptions as well as the rest of the USFL in 2022 when he caught 52 passes for 484 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was 2nd in receiving yards in the league over the regular season.

Lenoir most recently played for the Orlando Guardians in the XFL where he played in 4 games with 3 starts over the regular season recording 9 catches for 99 yards.

Lenoir played for Western Illinois from 2013 to 2016 where he was one of the greatest receivers in the program’s history. He was First Team All-Missouri Football Conference in 2016, Second Team in 2015, and First Team in 2014. In 2013 he was named to the MVFC All-Newcomer Team. He left the program as the all-time leader in receptions (273), yards (3,796), touchdowns (28), 100-yard games (14), 200-yard games (2), and consecutive games with a catch (41).

He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys in 2017 and appeared in 8 games with the Cowboys over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He was waived by the Cowboys on April 21 2020. Lenoir spent time on the Seattle Seahawks early in the 2020 season on the practice squad. He signed with the Buffalo Bills ahead of the 2021 season although he was waived on August 24 ahead of the regular season.

After Lenoir stood out in the USFL with the Panthers in 2021 he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles ahead of the 2022 season although he was waived with an injury settlement on August 22. He signed with the Los Angeles Rams practice squad in late December of 2022 and joined the XFL in 2023.

OLB De’Gabriel Floyd – East Los Angeles College (6’2, 245 lbs)

De’Gabriel Floyd played most recently for East Los Angeles Community College in 2023 where he recorded 37 tackles, 4 pass deflections, and an interception over 9 games. He played for Alabama A&M in 2022 where he appeared in 9 games recording 6 solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles, and a pass defended. 

Floyd was initially with the Texas Longhorns where he redshirted in 2019 after being an All-American linebacker in high school. He retired after being a longhorn due to medical reasons until he returned in 2022. Prior to signing with the Panthers, he was committed to play for Charlotte for the 2024 season.

DE Mika Tafua – Utah (27 y/o, 6’3, 250 lbs)

Mika Tafua played for Utah from 2018 to 2021 where he appeared in 44 games with 38 starts. He recorded 73 solo tackles, 60 assisted tackles, 32 tackles for a loss, 17.5 sacks, 9 passes defended, 5 fumble recoveries, and 3 forced fumbles. 

In his final year of collegiate football, he was First Team All-Pac 12 and won the Pac-12 Morris Trophy being recognized as the best defensive player in the conference. He was also named to Phil Steele All-America Fourth Team and was a finalist for Polynesian College Football Player of the Year. He was named Second Team All-Pac-12 in 2020 and an Honorable Mention in 2019.

Tafua signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2022. He recorded 2 solo tackles, an assisted tackle, and a sack in the preseason. He was waived ahead of the regular season and signed to the practice squad. He was released by the Cowboys in mid-November and signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad in December.

Jonathan Clink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink
Jonathan Clink will work as UFL News Hub's primary correspondent covering the Michigan Panthers for the 2024. He has written over 250 articles covering the Canadian Football League prior to joining UFL News Hub. Clink is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has a background in several other sports as well having played soccer, basketball, and hockey competitively.

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