Football fans who are sad the NFL season is over can start getting excited for the USFL.  They held their draft recently and a WNY player got chosen early.

This is the time of year that football fans either love or hate.  They love it because it's the start of a new season for them.  The draft is coming, we get to look at some of the players that our teams might be choosing and get excited about the upcoming year.

But then, we hate it because we have to wait for actual football to be played.  The Superbowl is over and we won't really see football again until the fall.

That's not the case this year.  This year we have a new league that is planting its roots.  It's the return of the United States Football League (USFL).  Yes...I said return of the USFL.  Back in the 80's that league was the one where Jim Kelly went after he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills.  He played for the Houston Gamblers until the league folded in 1986.

They're forging a comeback this year though and (at the writing of this post) they're just 52 days away from their first game. The inaugural USFL draft was held last night and a number of former NFL players and college standouts were added to rosters.

The USFL teams are:

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Pittsburgh Maulers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits
  • Houston Gamblers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Orleans Breakers
  • Philadelphia Stars

Included in the picks was Orchard Park alumni Ben Holmes who was selected 4th overall to go to the New Jersey Generals.  In high school, he lettered three years in football and was a team captain.  The interesting part was that he was a wide receiver as a sophomore and junior and didn't transition to quarterback until he was a senior.  It was then that he was named All-State, All-County and first-team all-district.

Holmes went on to play at Nassau Community College and Tarleton State University before earning a spot on the roster on the Indoor Football League (IFL) with the Arizona Rattlers.

Holmes was able to hear his name read off by NFL superstar Michael Strahan when he was chosen 4th overall in the inaugural draft to head to the New Jersey Generals.

Congrats to Holmes on his selection and good luck this year.  The first game starts with the Generals taking on the Birmingham Stallions on April 16th.


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