The United Football League announced on Monday the results of phase 1 of the UFL Dispersal Draft which which took place on Friday. The rounds in which players were drafted as well as the format of the dispersal draft were not publicized. The Panthers selected 1 quarterback, 2 running backs, 4 wide receivers, 1 linebacker, 5 defensive backs, 4 offensive linemen, 1 defensive lineman, and 2 punters.

QB Davis Cheek – Elon (24 y/o, 6’3, 217 lbs)

Previous Team: New Orleans Breakers

Davis Cheek played his collegiate ball at Elon University appearing in 41 games with 40 starts. He completed 701 of his 1,149 passes (61%) for 8,548 yards and 51 touchdowns with 21 interceptions over his time with Elon. In his senior season in 2021, he completed 253 of his 397 passes (63.7%) for 2,924 yards and 17 touchdowns with 5 interceptions. He also rushed for 71 yards and 3 touchdowns in his final season.

In 2017 Cheek was the CAA Football Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was the CAA Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2020. He was Second Team All-CAA as well as a finalist for the Walter Payton Award in 2021.

Cheek overcame 2 season-ending injuries in college. In 2018 he tore his ACL 6 games into the season. He missed the 2020 season due to an ACL tear ahead of the season.

Cheek signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2022 and was waived in July. He was signed to their practice squad in December of 2022. 

Cheek signed with the New Orleans Breakers in January of 2023 where he spent last year’s USFL season. He finished the season listed as the 2nd string quarterback for the Breakers behind McLeod Bethel-Thompson. He has 1 year of professional football under his belt but is still yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game.

RB Matt Colburn – Wake Forest (26 y/o, 5’10, 201 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Matt Colburn played his collegiate football at Wake Forest where he appeared in 46 games with 23 starts. He rushed 521 times for 2,400 yards (4.61 yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns at Wake Forest. He also had 33 receptions for 298 yards over his 4 seasons with Wake Forest. In his final season in 2018, he rushed 159 times for 775 yards (4.87 average) and 5 touchdowns over 11 games. He finished his college career sixth in rushing yards for Wake Forest.

His career high in rushing yards came in his senior season against Louisville rushing for 243 yards and 3 touchdowns. Louisville was where he initially had committed to but was told before signing day that they had no room for him.

He signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and was waived during final roster cuts. He was with the New York Guardians in the XFL in 2020 where he rushed one time for 6 yards. Later that same year he appeared in The Spring League with the Blues where he had nearly 200 yards in both weeks 2 and 3.

In February of 2021, Colburn was signed by the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and was released in July.

Colburn entered the USFL in 2022 where he was drafted by the Philadelphia Stars in the 28th round. He would rush 102 times in 2022 for 457 yards and 8 touchdowns with the Stars. He was recognized as the USFL Sportsman of the Year in 2022 which recognizes the player who best exhibited excellence on the field and leadership to the community off the field.

In 2022 Colburn signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 7 and was released on August 15. Colburn would return to the Philadelphia Stars in 2023 where he rushed 77 times for 264 yards (3.4 average) with 4 touchdowns. Colburn had the highest Pro Football Focus Grade among Stars players over the second half of the 2023 season.

RB Wes Hills – Slippery Rock (28 y/o, 6’2, 218 lbs)

Previous Team: New Orleans Breakers

Wes Hills played his first 4 seasons of college ball with Delaware where he appeared in 32 games with 6 stars compiling 1,849 yards on 286 carries (6.5 average) and 14 touchdowns. He missed the 2017 after being declared academically ineligible. He transferred to Slippery Rock where he played his final season at the Division 2 level in 2018. 

Hills had a dominant year in 2018 with Slippery Rock which resulted in him being named First Team All-PSAC West and named Second-Team Associated Press Division II All-America. He rushed for 1,714 yards on 246 carries (7 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns over 12 games in 2018. He also registered 28 receptions for 193 yards in his senior season.

Hills signed a three-year deal for 1.75 million with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2019 but was waived prior to final roster cuts with an injury settlement. Hills signed with the Detroit Lions’ practice squad in October and appeared in 1 game over the season during which he rushed 10 times for 21 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was waived by the Lions in August of 2020.

Hills signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2021 where he was with them for 2 seasons over which he appeared in 7 games rushing 73 times for 404 yards (5.5 average) and a touchdown.

Hills entered the USFL with the New Orleans Breakers in 2023. Last season was a banner year for him as he was named to the 2023 All-USFL team. In week 3 he set the USFL single-game rushing record with 191 yards. He played in 10 games finishing with 680 rushing yards on 180 carries (3.8 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns. He also had 38 receptions for 278 yards. Hills had the highest PFF grade among Breakers players in the first half of the USFL season.

WR Corey Coleman – Baylor (29 y/o, 5’11, 185 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Corey Coleman played for Baylor in college appearing in 35 games with 28 starts. He amassed 173 receptions for 3,009 yards and 33 touchdowns over 3 seasons.  In his final season in 2015 with Baylor, he had 74 catches for 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns over 12 games. He was a a Unanimous All-American in 2015 as well as the recipient of the Fred Biletnikoff Award which is awarded to college football’s most outstanding receiver.

Coleman was drafted by the Cleveland Browns 15th overall in the 2016 NFL draft. His NFL career got off to a rocky start missing most of the preseason due to injury and breaking his hand in practice on September 21. In week 2 of the following season, Coleman would break his same hand. Coleman played in 19 games for the Browns over 2 seasons 18 of which were starts. Over his time in Cleveland, he contributed 718 yards on 56 receptions and 5 touchdowns.

Ahead of the 2018 season as featured in the HBO series Hard Knocks Coleman asked for a trade following asking why he was not on the first team. He was traded to the Buffalo Bills for a 7th-round pick in the 2020 draft in early August and released from the Bills in early September. 10 days later he signed with the New England Patriots but was released 6 days later to make room for New England to sign Josh Gordon. Coleman signed with the New York Giants in mid-October where he appeared in 8 games with 1 start contributing 5 receptions for 71 yards.

Coleman suffered a season-ending ACL tear on the first day of training camp ahead of the 2019 season.  He spent portions of the 2020 season on the Giants practice squad. He was suspended for the first 6 games of the 2021 season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad for portions of 2022.

Coleman joined the USFL last season. He led the USFL in receiving yards as he made 51 receptions for 669 yards and 4 touchdowns over 10 games and was named All-USFL in 2023. He had the 4th highest PFF grade among the Stars’ players.

WR Devin Gray – Cincinnati (28 y/o, 6’0, 192 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Devin Gray played his first 2 seasons of college ball in the California Community College Athletic Association with Sierra where he had 111 receptions for 1,757 yards and 17 touchdowns in 21 games. He played his last 2 seasons with Cincinnati where he played in 24 games contributing 86 receptions for 1,304 yards and 8 touchdowns.

He signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He spent time on the Falcons practice squad from 2018 to 2020. In 2021 he was with the Baltimore Ravens practice squad early in the season.

Gray joined the USFL in 2022 where he was drafted by the Philadelphia Stars in the 13th round. He played in 8 games in 2022 for the Stars catching 25 passes for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was briefly with the Kansas City Chiefs in August of 2022 before re-signing with the Stars in October of 2022. He appeared in 10 games last season with the Stars during which he had 50 receptions for 502 yards and a touchdown.

WR Jordan Suell – Southern Oregon (26 y/o, 6’6, 205 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Jordan Suell played 4 seasons at Southern Oregon where he had 112 catches for 2,184 yards and 27 touchdowns. In his final season in 2019, he had 42 catches for 834 yards and 12 touchdowns over 11 games.

Suell appeared in The Spring League after college and was with the Saskatchewan Roughriders prior to being released before the 2021 CFL regular season. He played with the Philadelphia Stars the last 2 seasons contributing 48 receptions for 500 yards and 3 touchdowns. Last season Suell had 12 receptions over 130 yards in 6 games.

WR Terry Wright – Purdue (26 y/o, 5’10, 177 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Terry Wright played his first 2 seasons of college at Coffeyville CC. He had 50 receptions for 805 yards and 8 touchdowns over 11 games in 2016. He then played for Purdue from 2017 to 2018 where he had 57 catches for 764 yards and 5 touchdowns over 24 games.

Wright signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019 as an undrafted free agent. He was released in October. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 5 and was released on November 18. He signed with the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad on November 27 and was released on December 31.

In 2021 he was briefly signed by the Ottawa Redblacks of the CFL. Wright was drafted by the San Antonio Brahmas in 2022 of the XFL but did not appear in a game. In 2023 he signed with the Philadephia Stars where he appeared in 7 games contributing 13 games for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns.

LB Jerod Fernandez – North Carolina State (29 y/o, 6’0, 227 lbs)

Previous Team: New Orleans Breakers

Jerod Fernandez played in 50 games for North Carolina State where he contributed 118 solo tackles, 196 assisted tackles, 3 sacks, and 5 interceptions.

Fernandez signed with the Washington Football Team as an undrafted free agent in 2018 before being waived in early September.

He spent time briefly with the Calgary Stampeders in 2019 in the CFL before joining the Ottawa Redblacks until his release following the 2021 season. He appeared in 12 games with Ottawa making 54 tackles.

Fernandez joined the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL in 2022. Over the last 2 seasons, he made 85 solo tackles, 65 assisted tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception. 

S Adonis Alexander – Virginia Tech (27 y/o, 6’3, 190 lbs)

Previous Team: New Orleans Breakers

Adonis Alexander played 3 seasons for Virginia Tech where he played in 33 games contributing 90 solo tackles, 34 assisted tackles, 7 interceptions, and a sack.

Alexander was drafted by the Washinton Redskins in the 6th round of the 2018 NFL supplemental draft. He played in 9 games He dressed in 9 games for Washington that season contributing 4 solo tackles. From 2019 to 2021 he spent time on practice squads with the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers, and the New Orleans Saints.

Alexander joined the USFL in 2022 and was drafted by the New Orleans Breakers in the 8th round. In 2022 he had 22 solo tackles, 13 assisted tackles, and 2 interceptions. Last season he had 15 solo tackles and 3 assisted tackles over 10 games. He had the highest PFF grade among Breakers’ players. He was one of 3 safeties to face 20 or more targets while allowing 10 or fewer catches his way.

CB Keith Gipson Jr. – Mary-Hardin Baylor (29 y/o, 6’2, 200 lbs)

Previous Team: Pittsburgh Maulers

Keith Gipson Jr. played for Mary-Hardin Baylor in college at the Division III level. He appeared in 48 games over 4 seasons contributing 137 solo tackles, 74 assisted tackles, 13 interceptions, and 33 passes defended.

He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Maulers in the second round of the 2022 USFL Supplemental Draft. In 2022 he had 19 solo tackles, 6 assisted tackles, and an interception. Last season he had 19 solo tackles, 13 assisted tackles, and 2 interceptions over 10 games with the Maulers.

SS Shalom Luani – Washington State (29 y/o, 6’0, 201 lbs)

Previous Team: New Jersey Generals

Shalom Luani made an impact in association football (soccer) before he began his gridiron football career. He played on the American Samoa U17, U20, and U23 teams prior to getting 8 caps at the senior level. In 2011 he scored 2 goals of Samoa’s 5 goals in the first round of the Oceania Football Confederation Fifa World Cup Qualification for American Samoa. Samoa finished the stage in first in their group scoring 5 goals and winning 2 of their 3 games with 1 draw. This result earned Samoa a spot in the 2012 OFC Nations Cup.

Luani began playing gridiron football in high school. He played his first 2 seasons of college football for City College of San Francisco where he had 84 solo tackles, 34 assisted tackles, a sack, 11 interceptions, and 3 touchdowns over 24 games. He played for Washington State in 2015 and 2016 where he had 113 solo tackles, 44 assisted tackles, 2 sacks, 8 interceptions, and a touchdown. He was an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2015 and All-Pac-12 First Team in 2016.

Luani was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 7th round in 2017 where he appeared in 16 games in 2017 making 14 solo tackles and 4 assisted tackles. He also recovered an onside kick to begin the game in the Raiders’ season opener. In 2018 Luani played in 12 games for the Seattle Seahawks following a trade. He had 7 tackles and 2 assisted tackles in 2018.

Luani had a stint with 2 NFL practice squads in 2019 the Los Angeles Chargers and Houston Texans. He appeared in 3 games with the Chargers. 

Luani was drafted by the New Jersey Generals in 2022 in the 18th round of the USFL draft. In 2022 he had 24 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles, a sack, and 5 interceptions. Last season he played in 9 games for the Generals contributing 33 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, and an interception.

CB Alex Thomas – Ferris State (27 y/o, 6’1, 195 lbs)

Previous Team: New Orleans Breakers

Alex Thomas was a part of Ferris State’s 2019 GLIAC Championship which saw Ferris make the D2 semifinals. He won the National Championship with Ferris in 2021. He played in 24 games for Ferris State contributing 35 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, 8 interceptions, and a touchdown. Prior to playing for Ferris State, he played in 21 games with Cincinnati where he had 27 solo tackles, 20 assisted tackles, and 4 interceptions.

He played his first season of professional football last season for the New Orleans Breakers where he had 14 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, and 2 interceptions over 10 games.

S Bryce Torneden – Kansas (25 y/o, 5’9, 190 lbs)

Previous Team: Pittsburgh Maulers

Bryce Torneden played his collegiate ball for Kansas where he had 161 solo tackles, 67 assisted tackles, an interception, and a touchdown over 46 games. He played his final season for Kansas in 2019.

Torneden played in The Spring League in 2021 before joining the USFL. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Maulers in the 19th round of the 2022 USFL draft. In 2022 he had 41 solo tackles, 29 assisted tackles, and an interception. Last season he had 29 solo tackles and 19 assisted tackles over 10 games for the Maulers.

OL Jacob Burton – Baylor (26 y/o, 6’6, 312 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Jacob Baylor played his final season at Baylor where he started in his 8 games played at right guard. Prior to Baylor, he played for UCLA where he played in 29 games. He started in 23 of his 24 games from 2018-19.

He joined the Philadelphia Stars following the 2022 USFL draft when he was selected in the 7th round. Last season he started in all 9 games that he played for the Stars. He had the Philadelphia Stars third highest Pro Football Focus grade in 2022. He had the third-highest PFF grade among Stars’ players last season.

OT Drew Himmelman – Illinois State (27 y/o, 6’8, 325 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Drew Himmelman played his college ball for Illinois State at left tackle. He played in 39 games with 38 starts. He was All Missouri Valley Conference First Team in his last 2 seasons and Second Team the season before.

Himmelman signed with the Denver Broncos in 2021 as an undrafted free agent where he spent the season on the practice squad. He was waived by the Broncos in May of 2022 and claimed by Washington who waived him shortly after. Washington would sign him again in March of 2023 but would waive him again in May of 2023. Himmelman shortly after signed with the Philadelphia Stars where he played in 4 games last season.

OT Ryan Pope – San Diego State (27 y/o, 6’7, 315 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Ryan Pope played 36 games for San Diego State with 23 starts. He was named Second Team All-Mountain West playing both left and right tackle over his 13 starts in his final season in 2018. 

He signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He spent time with different NFL practice rosters from 2019 to 2022 including San Francisco, Jacksonville, Green Bay, Denver, Arizona, and the Los Angeles Rams.

Pope signed with the Birmingham Stallions in June of 2023 and was traded to the Philadelphia Stars in November. The trade also sent offensive guard Gray Davis to Philadelphia from Birmingham in exchange for cornerback David Vereen and defensive tackle Marvin Wilson.

OT Tristen Taylor – Eastern Washington (26 y/o, 6’6, 330 lbs)

Previous Team: Philadelphia Stars

Tristen Taylor played for Eastern Washington where he started more games than any player in Eastern Washington history as he started in all 60 of his games over 6 seasons. He was First Team All-Big Sky in 2021 and 2020. He was Second Team All-Big Sky in 2019.

Taylor attended a rookie mini-camp with the Chicago Bears in 2022 and joined the BC Lions’ practice roster in week 9 of the 2022 CFL season.

Last season Taylor played in 6 games for the Philadelphia Stars with 4 starts.

Edge Nasir Player – East Tennessee State (26 y/o, 6’5, 271 lbs)

Previous Team: Pittsburgh Maulers

Nasir Player played in 44 games at Tennessee State with 40 starts. He accumulated 97 solo tackles, 85 assisted tackles, 18.5 sacks, an interception, and a touchdown with East Tennesse State. He was named to AFCA FCS Coaches’ All-America Second Team in his last 2 seasons in 2019 and 2018.

Player signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 as an undrafted free agent and was waived in early August. He played in The Spring League in 2021. Player was drafted by the Pittsburgh Maulers in the 2022 USFL draft in the third round.

In 2022 Player had 9 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles, and a sack with the Maulers. Last season he started all 10 games contributing 27 solo tackles, 15 assisted tackles, and 3.5 sacks.

P Brock Miller – Southern Utah (32 y/o, 6’0, 195 lbs)

Previous Team: New Jersey Generals

Brock Miller played for Southern Utah in college. He was 11th in the FCS in average yards per punt at 43.4 in 2013 for his final season of collegiate football. He went undrafted in 2014.

In 2017 Miller signed a future contract with San Francisco in January and was released in May. He spent time with the New York Giants’ practice squad in 2018. In 2019 he signed with the LA Rams and was released during final roster cuts.

Miller played for the Seattle Sea Dragons of the XFL in 2020 where he averaged 42.1 yards per punt over 23 punts in 5 games before the league ceased operations.

Miller was drafted by the New Jersey Generals in the 2022 USFL Supplemental draft. He punted 31 times averaging 46.3 yards per punt in 2022. Miller spent some time with the LA Rams’ practice roster in the 2022 NFL season before returning to the USFL again in 2023. Last season he averaged 43.1 yards per punt on 36 punts and appeared in every game for the Generals.

LS Jordan Ober – Nebraska (27 y/o, 6’1, 225 lbs)

Previous Team: New Jersey Generals

Jordan Ober played in 48 games for Nebraska from 2015 to 2018. He was Third-Team All-Big Ten in 2017.

Ober played every game for the New Jersey Generals last year which saw his special team counterpart Nic Sciba have the third-highest field goal percentage at 92% and also tie the longest field goal of the season at 56 yards. Ober joins the Panthers with punter Brock Miller who were teammates in New Jersey.

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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