The Michigan Panthers on Thursday signed offensive tackle Denzel Okafor and tight end Derrick Deese. The Panthers’ roster is now at the training camp roster limit of 75 players.

OT Denzel Okafor – Texas (26 y/o, 6’4, 322 lbs)

Denzel Okafor played for Texas from 2016 to 2021 where he appeared in 48 games with 18 starts. He was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2021.

Okafor signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in May of 2022 although he was waived 8 days later. He signed with the Michigan Panthers ahead of the 2023 season and played in 2 games with the Panthers in last year’s USFL season.

Okafor was not among the 40 players protected by the Panthers heading into the UFL dispersal draft but is now back with the club with this signing.

TE Derrick Deese Jr. – San Diego State (26 y/o, 6’0, 245 lbs)

Derrick Deese played for San Jose State from 2018 to 2021 appearing in 34 games with 22 starts. He caught 86 passes for 1,149 yards and 11 touchdowns with the program. He was an Honorable Mention All-Mountain West in 2021 and 2020 and Moutain West All-Academic Team in 2020 and 2019.

Prior to playing for San Jose State, he played for Golden West Junior College in 2016 and 2017 where he played in 16 games recording 47 receptions for 813 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Deese is no stranger to Ford Field as he signed with the Detroit Lions in 2022 as an undrafted free agent although he was released amid final roster cuts. He was signed again by the Lions on January 11 2023 and later released on August 2.

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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