USFL 2023: Predictions for MVP, all-league team and more

USFL 2023: Predictions for MVP, all-league team and more


The USFL is filled with outstanding players, some of whom have proven themselves to be a cut above the rest. 

The All-USFL Team is one way of acknowledging those who have stood out in 2023. 

And while those honorees — as well as the league’s major awards for the season — will be announced over the next couple of weeks, the end of the regular season is the perfect time to make some predictions.

Without further ado, and after taking in the entirety of a thrilling season, here are my picks for the USFL’s major awards and All-USFL teams for 2023.

MVP: Alex McGough, QB, Birmingham Stallions

If the Most Valuable Player is awarded to a player who has demonstrated to be just that — most valued — it’s difficult to overstate how valuable McGough has been for the Stallions at quarterback.

Not only has he led the defending USFL Champions to a second-straight regular season South Division title, but he did it after being forced to come off the bench due to a season-ending injury to starter J’Mar Smith.

With each passing week, McGough demonstrated an ability to fix broken plays, earn the trust of Stallions coach Skip Holtz and make game-winning plays that have seen the Stallions through to an 8-2 record.

In 10 weeks, he accounted for 2,507 yards — 403 on the ground — with 25 total TDs to just five INTs.

Offensive Player of the Year: Mark Thompson, RB, Houston Gamblers

The Gamblers’ star running back became the modern USFL single-season record-holder for rushing TDs with 14 in 10 games. He finished second in the league in rushing yards with 654, in a season in which the Gamblers fell just one game short of a playoff appearance in 2023.

Defensive Player of the Year: Kyhava Tezino, LB, Pittsburgh Maulers

No player has been more meaningful to his defense than Tezino has to the Maulers. Leading one of the most undervalued units in the league, Tezino notched 94 tackles with two interceptions.

He led a Maulers defense that was dominant in its lasting outing of the regular season, notching seven tackles and holding the New Jersey Generals to just six points in a win that vaulted Pittsburgh into the USFL playoffs.

Here are my picks for the 2023 All-USFL team.

OFFENSE

Quarterback
Alex McGough, Birmingham Stallions

Running back
Mark Thompson, Houston Gamblers

Tight ends
Sage Surratt, New Orleans Breakers
Jace Sternberger, Birmingham Stallions

Offensive tackles
Jarron Jones, Memphis Showboats
Avery Gennesy, Houston Gamblers

Offensive guards
Calvin Ashley, New Jersey Generals
Paul Adams, New Orleans Breakers

Center
C.J. Perez, Philadelphia Stars

Receivers
Justin Hall, Houston Gamblers
Corey Coleman, Philadelphia Stars
Davion Davis, Birmingham Stallions

DEFENSE

Edge rushers
Breeland Speaks, Michigan Panthers
Hercules Mata’afa, New Jersey Generals

Interior defensive line
Keonte Schad, New Orleans Breakers
Toby Johnson, New Jersey Generals

Linebackers
Frank Ginda, Michigan Panthers
Kyahva Tezino, Pittsburgh Maulers

Cornerbacks
Amani Dennis, Philadelphia Stars
Mark Gilbert, Pittsburgh Maulers

Safeties
Arnold Tarpley III, Pittsburgh Maulers
Troy Warner, Memphis Showboats
Kai Nacau, Michigan Panthers

SPECIAL TEAMS

Returners
Derrick Dillon, Memphis Showboats
Josh Simmons, Pittsburgh Maulers

Kicker
Luis Aguilar, Philadelphia Stars

Punter
Matt Mengel, Pittsburgh Maulers

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.” Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The Number One College Football Show” on YouTube.



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About the Author

Marie Maynes
Marie Maynes is a Sports enthusiast and writes for the Sports section of ANH.