USFL Draft: 3 Eagles Selected
Three EMU grads picked in the USFL's College Draft.
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The USFL had its college draft Tuesday afternoon and three former Eastern Michigan football players got the call to let them know they’ve been selected — tight end Gunnar Oakes (Michigan Panthers, 7th round, 48th overall), defensive end Jose Ramirez (Philadelphia Stars, 6-46), and offensive lineman Sidy Sow (Michigan Panthers, 10-72).
Ramirez is EMU’s first-ever MAC Defensive Player of the Year, then picked up some All-American recognition during the winter as well. Ramirez finished the 2022 season with 12 sacks — second-most in the nation. Sow appeared in 56 games for EMU since 2018 and is a three-time All-MAC honoree (First Team in 2022, 2021). Oakes was the starting tight end for EMU in 2022 and caught 27 passes for 279 yards in his final season.
The three newcomers will join two other EMU grads in the USFL. Offensive tackle Ka’John Armstrong and linebacker Terry Myrick are both with the Panthers.
Myrick is in his second season playing for the Panthers. Armstrong, whose pro career began in 2019 when he practiced with various NFL teams, starting with the Cleveland Browns. In 2021, Armstrong was an in-season signee for the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. In January 2022, the team re-signed him at first, but released Armstrong in May. The Panthers scooped him up as a free agent three months later.
Now, Myrick, Armstrong, and Oakes are all teammates again for the first time since 2018.
What about the NFL Draft?
The USFL begins having training camps in March. The season begins April 15. Somewhere in between there, college teams tend to hold their on-campus pro days in front of NFL scouts. The NFL Draft begins April 27.
Obviously, there’s a scheduling conflict for guys who don’t want to play in the USFL and would rather keep trying for the NFL.
When a USFL team drafts a player, that team has the rights to that player. When that player is ready to sign with their team, then they’ll report to training camp next month. But if a player — even after all the feedback they’ve received from coaches, scouts, and now USFL teams — still wants to go to the NFL, then the USFL team will call their corporate offices to let them know they no longer have control of that player’s rights. Then the player is able to do their school’s pro day and see if they played their cards right during NFL Draft weekend.
The USFL teams focus their roster-building attention on guys who generally have late-round to undrafted free agent potential for the NFL draft.