Emanuel Hall

For the first time since its four-year run in the mid-80s, the United States Football League (USFL) is back, and a number of local players are along for the ride. 

The reboot league held its inaugural draft on Tuesday and Wednesday, with 280 players selected over 35 rounds. Each round was dedicated strictly to the player pool at a certain position. 

A pair of Williamson County standouts who played out their collegiate career at Missouri were selected in the 2022 USFL Draft. Former Centennial star Emanuel Hall was taken by the Birmingham Stallions in the wide receiver portion of the draft. 

Hall racked up 97 catches for 2,016 yards and 16 touchdowns in 32 games played during a four-year career at Missouri, earning a Second-Team All-SEC honor as a senior. He went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, but has since spent time on the practice squad or in training camp with the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Washington Commanders. 

At Centennial, Hall was an All-State selection after compiling 47 catches, 889 yards, and 12 touchdowns as a senior. He also won the state championship in the high jump. 

Former CPA lineman Paul Adams was the fourth player taken in the offensive tackle portion of the draft, with the New Orleans Breakers selecting the former Missouri Tiger. 

In college, Adams played 42 games, starting 39, earning captain status as a junior and senior. At CPA,  Adams helped the Lions to a State Championship game appearance as a senior. The two-way lineman was awarded one of the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football honors after the season. 

A handful of other Nashville area players were selected in the draft. Former Vanderbilt safeties Arnold Tarpley III (Pittsburgh Maulers) and LaDarius Wiley (Philadelphia Stars) and center Bruno Reagan (Philadelphia Stars) were taken, as were ex-Tennessee State players in defensive end Mekhi Brown (Tampa Bay Bandits), tackle Chidi Okeke (Pittsburgh Maulers) and cornerback Terrell Bonds (Pittsburgh Maulers). 

Other Tennessee collegiate players taken were former Memphis quarterbacks Paxton Lynch (Michigan Panthers) and Brady White (Tampa Bay Bandits), Memphis tight end Joseph Magnifico (Michigan Panthers) and East Tennessee State defensive end Nasir Player (Pittsburgh Maulers). 

The latest in a string of football leagues playing an alternate spring schedule in the hopes of securing gridiron fans who are biding time until the fall rolls back around, the USFL is set to begin play on April 15 with eights squads split into two divisions.

All eight teams will play in Birmingham, Ala., at either Protective Stadium or Legion Field.