As the USFL’s debut season approaches, excitement continues to build with each passing day. Teams have officially been set in place, with both the official and supplementary drafts behind us.
While attention has been drawn to the league by some stellar offensive playmakers, there are plenty of excellent defenders who are not getting the attention they deserve. In this article, we will be taking a look at a few who should have spectacular seasons with their respective USFL teams in 2022.
Jamar Summers is easily one of the most talented defensive backs in the USFL. Summers has played at an elite level in both the Alliance Of American Football, and the XFL.
During his time with the Birmingham Iron of the AAF, Summers racked up three interceptions alongside 20 tackles, and multiple pass breakups. His agility at the position makes him extremely valuable to any team plays for.
Jamar Summers coming up with the clutch @aafiron INT!
34.2 passer rating allowed in coverage coming into Week 6 (3rd among CBs)#BIRvsSD
It was no different for Summers in the XFL. The superstar balled out for the New York Guardians, producing important plays throughout the short season. Had the league survived, he would have been in talks for defensive player of the year.
Jamar Summers with the QUICK hands for the interception
Jamar has spent time with both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, but never saw playing time with either during the regular season. Now with the Houston Gamblers in the USFL, Summers has another opportunity to show everyone what he is capable of.
If you’ve been a fan of spring football for the past few years, then you know De’Vante Bausby. The AAF all-star was sensational for the San Antonio Commanders, making plays week in and week out for the franchise. He finished the short season with 26 tackles and four interceptions, leading The Alliance in takeaways.
#PLAYMAKER De’Vante Bausby takes the 2-pt attempt to the house to clinch the game!!@aafcommanders win their fourth straight, 19-15 over Salt Lake
His performance in the AAF earned himself stints with the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos. In Denver, Bausby proved his worth once again. In fact, he started in three games for the organization who was reeling at the time due to COVID-19. Bausby racked up 20 tackles for Denver, including this game saving take down versus Carolina:
In the USFL, Bausby will be reunited with Mike Riley, who coached the San Antonio Commanders. Obviously, Riley is well aware of the impact De’Vante can make in a game, hence why he drafted him to the New Jersey Generals. No question, quarterbacks are not going to want to throw in Bausby’s direction come April.
Arnold Tarpley III is an underrated signing by the Pittsburgh Maulers. He certainly is not on everyone’s radar – but the young athlete possesses outstanding attributes that not every defender is gifted with. His quickness, paired with an impressive set of hands, makes him into a dangerous weapon for any defense.
Tarpley played for the Memphis Express of the AAF in 2019, and was arguably one of the best safeties in the league. Through eight games, Tarpley recorded 44 tackles and one interception. His best performance of the year came in week six against the Salt Lake Stallions, with eight tackles and a clutch takeaway.
KEEP. FIGHTING. 💪
The Express defense allowed just 6️⃣ points and forced 4️⃣ turnovers in the final 3️⃣ quarters of yesterday's game, including Arnold Tarpley III's (@tretarpley) tiptoe INT.
During The Spring League’s 2020 season, Tarpley played for the Generals, and helped take the team to a Championship. His presence was felt on every possession, making multiple impressive plays, including this athletic interception against the Conquerors:
Expect Tarpley to make an immediate impact for Kirby Wilson’s Pittsburgh Maulers. The safety has seen success on every level he has played at, and that should be no different in the USFL.
Without a doubt, there are many talented defensive backs and safeties in the USFL, and we cannot wait to see all of them on the field in 2022. These three in particular are bound to have excellent seasons, and we expect to see plenty more sensational playmaking once April 16th finally rolls around.
Who are some defenders that you think will perform well in the USFL? Do you agree with the three listed in this article? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!