BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — “With the fourth pick in the USFL Draft, the New Jersey Generals select quarterback Ben Holmes.”
That was former NFL star and current popular celebrity talk show host Michael Strahan announcing that former Tarleton quarterback Ben Holmes is headed to the United States Football League.
The USFL has returned from a 35-year hiatus, and the Texan great will be leading one of the eight teams in the league. Tuesday began the very first USFL Draft, a league restarting after last running from 1983-85.
It’s a spring football league designed to bring football to the viewer year-round, in the offseason of the NFL that runs from August through February. In 1983, the USFL began with 12 teams. It expanded to 18 teams in 1984 before finishing at 14 in 1985. The Generals, the same team Holmes was drafted by on Tuesday, signed running back Herschel Walker from Georgia in the 1980s, fresh off of his Heisman Trophy winning season.
Now Holmes joins the team in the league’s effort to restart. The former Texan signal caller went 23-2 as a starting QB, the best mark in program history. He finished his career with the fifth-most passing yards (5,997), the most passing yards per game (262.3) and the second-most passing touchdowns (62) in Tarleton history.
Only three players were drafted ahead of Holmes – the Michigan Panthers took former Michigan QB Shea Patterson first overall, the Tampa Bay Bandits drafted former Ole Miss QB Jordan Ta’amu at No. 2, and with the third overall pick, the Philadelphia Stars selected former Occidental College QB Bryan Scott.
The 2022 USFL regular season will begin April 16 and run through mid-June, followed by the playoffs. The first game will feature Holmes and the Generals on April 16, set to air on both FOX and NBC.