Former Troy receiver Damion Willis selected in UFL Draft

Published 2:22 pm Monday, January 15, 2024

The United Football League – the new merger of the USFL and XFL – held its “Super Draft” on Jan. 15 and former Troy receiver Damion Willis was selected by the Memphis Showboats.

Each team in the UFL was able to protect a certain number of players but every other player on each roster were then thrown into the draft pool by which teams selected from. Willis played for the Seattle Sea Dragons of the XFL last season.

Willis earned All-Sun Belt honors twice as a Trojan and caught 98 passes for 1,496 yards and 13 touchdowns during his two years with Troy. In 2018, he caught 56 passes for 876 yards and 10 touchdowns and set the New Orleans Bowl record for catches in a game with 11 for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

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Willis has played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Washington Commanders and Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. He started two games for the Bengals in 2019 and caught nine passes for 82 yards. He also currently serves as wide receivers coach at Holmes Community College. He played JUCO football at East Mississippi Community College before transferring to Troy.

In 2023, Willis started five games for Seattle and caught 18 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown.

Former Troy offensive lineman Kirk Kelley was previously selected in the UFL’s “Dispersal Draft,” which saw UFL teams able to select players from the dissolved XFL and USFL teams that will not play in the merged league. Kelley was also selected by the Showboats. Kelley was an All-Sun Belt lineman at Troy and went on to become one of the highest graded offensive linemen in the USFL – for the New Orleans Breakers – last season.

Alabama standout Bo Scarbrough (25) rushed for 105 yards in his first USFL start. (Photo courtesy of USFL)

The Birmingham Stallions – Alabama’s only professional football team – selected a total of 11 players in the Draft, including former Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough, who played for the Stallions in 2022 and 2023 but suffered an ACL injury during the preseason last year.

Birmingham’s selections also included former Massachusetts offensive tackle Larnel Coleman, former Stanford safety Alijah Holder, Prairie View A&M quarterback Jalen Morton, Tennessee State cornerback Terrell Bonds, Georgia Southern long snapper Ryan Langan, Oklahoma State cornerback Madre Harper and Texas A&M offensive tackle Jahmir Ross-Johnson.

The Stallions also selected fullback Bobby Holly, receiver Myron Mitchell and running back ZaQuandre White, who all played for Birmingham last season.

Additionally, Wiregrass native TJ Barnes – who grew up in Enterprise – was selected by the DC Defenders in the UFL Draft. Barnes played for Arlington Renegades in the XFL last season, tallying 18 tackles and five tackles-for-loss on the season.