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28 Former Pac-12 Players Selected in USFL Draft

Seven of eight teams in the USFL chose Pac-12 players throughout the two-day draft this week, and five of the eight head coaches have some sort of ties to the conference.

Although the NFL won't see a regular-season game played until September, the USFL is here to provide millions of football-deprived fans the ability to again plunk themselves onto their couches each weekend and consume America's favorite sport. 

The league features eight teams, which will be split between two divisions: 

North Division

  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers

South Division

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • New Orleans Breakers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits

Each team will play a 10-game schedule, with teams in the same division playing each other twice and teams in the other division once.

The top two teams in each division will play against each other in the semifinals, which will be followed a week later by the league's championship game.

The USFL won't have its first game played until April 16, although the league did conduct their draft over this past week across two different days.

Former Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson was the league's No. 1 selection, although hundreds of players heard their name called to take part in the once dormant USFL.

Out of those players, 28 of those previously played their football in the Pac-12. Oregon leads the way with five players, although schools such as Arizona, USC and Oregon State saw four of their own taken. Stanford was the only school without a player selected in the draft. 

Seven teams in the USFL selected former Pac-12 players, with the Michigan Panthers being the only team to not take a player from the "conference of champions" on either day of the draft. The Birmingham Stallions and Tampa Bay Bandits roster the most Pac-12 players with seven selected on each squad. 

Matt Mengel
Bryson Young
Azeem Victor
Shawn Poindexter
De'Quan Hampton
Ajene Harris
Victor Bolden Jr

The USFL's head coaches also have some ties with the Pac-12. 

  • Panthers head coach Jeff Fisher played as a defensive back at USC, winning a national championship with the Trojans in 1978. 
  • Maulers head coach Kirby Wilson spent one season at USC as a wide receivers coach in 2001.
  • Generals head coach Mike Riley had a few different stints within the Pac-12, as he initially joined USC as an associate head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 1993-96 before taking on his first college head coaching gig with Oregon State, which spanned from 1997-98. Riley eventually returned to the Beavers to coach them from 2003-14, and even came back as a consultant for one season afterward in 2018. Riley's 93 wins at OSU are the most in program history.
  • Gamblers head coach Kevin Sumlin coached Arizona for three seasons from 2018-20.
  • Philadelphia Stars head coach Bart Andrus briefly spent a season at Oregon State as a player in 1978.