The Gamblers started the offseason pretty quiet, and have exploded in the signing scene recently. The two newest signings are wide receiver Deontez Alexander out of Franklin College, and Nazir Streater out of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. These two are diamonds in the rough that have gone fairly unnoticed, but have a lot of talent between them. Coach Morris was able to get in contact with them and they signed the dotted line. It is more difficult to find information on these two as they played D2 and D3 football that wasn't nationally televised, but here is what you need to know.
Deontez Alexander/ WR / Ht:6'1" / Wt:196lbs / Age:26 / 40yd:4.35s
Deontez played his college ball at division 3 Franklin College in Indiana to stay close to his father and brother. There he racked up an impressive 114 catches with 33 touchdowns in just two seasons. Alexander averaged 18 yards a catch and proved himself a dominant deep threat with his speed and long arms. Through his pro-day at Ball State, he showed scouts his intangibles that set him apart from other wide receivers. With short time on NFL practice squads, it is time for Alexander to get some solid game tape to add to his HUDL account.
When watching Alexander play he plays mostly outside. For a deep threat wide-out, he has a large route tree and great route running technique. When running routes, his head and eye discipline are a thing of beauty that he uses to sell fakes. The most impressive aspect to his game is his physicality and ability to create yards after catch as shown in the below highlight.
On top of the skill and stats, Deontez Alexander showed great character in his college career by choosing to stay close to home to take care of his father who was ill, and 17 year old brother. To put your dreams of playing possibly D2 or D1 football on hold for family shows tremendous strength and maturity. I believe Alexander will bring leadership with him that will be equally as important as his skills on field. He is a player to be excited about in season two of the USFL and Houston Gamblers football.
Nazir Streater / CB / Ht:5'10" / Wt:185lbs / Age:23 / 40yd:4.48s
Nazir Streater is a player fresh out of Indiana University Pennsylvania, that could make a large impact on the Gamblers defense in season two. Streater may be shorter than scouts like to see, but he plays like he is 6' 4"! With his athleticism and knack for ball-hawking, he is a standout play-maker. Pulling in 14 career interceptions at IUP, he has proved season after season that he knows how to get the ball in his hands on defense. In the words of Gamblers director of Player personnel, "you can't teach stats like his."
His senior season was quieter on stats due to a shortened season due to lingering injury from his junior year, and opponents targeting him less frequently than any other year. Streater played in a zone coverage heavy defense at Long Island University, then a man coverage defensive scheme in his time at IUP. The diversity between the two defenses he played in helped him become proficient in all coverage types, and an especially dominant one-on-one corner playing on the outside.
While at LIU, Streater made an interception so impressive that it topped the ESPN Top 10 plays of the weekend that week! When interviewing Nazir I asked him about the pick and he said "I don't remember the catch, spinning the ball, none of that, just being excited and seeing my family up in the stands cheering". Streater said that the hype over the play didn't die down for about two months, but I think it should pick back up as we can expect more top 10 plays in the USFL from Nazir!
What do you think of the two newest Gamblers players? Make sure to join the USFL Discord and let me know!