Above photo courtesy of the UMHB Sports Information Department
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- Four years removed from the last time he stepped onto the field as part of a professional team, Haston Adams has earned another shot. The kind of opportunity he was not necessarily expecting, but had been hoping for.
“I was excited, [when I heard the news abut being drafted],” Adams told True To The Cru. “I did not really expect it. I talked to a couple of teams but didn’t expect much to come from it.”
But something did.
The former UMHB defensive tackle was drafted by the United States Football League’s Birmingham Stallions in the league’s inaugural draft yesterday, taken with the third pick in the 25th round. He last played professionally with the Arizona Cardinals’ in 2018.
“It means a lot to get another opportunity and to have another coaching staff believe in me,” Adams added. “Hopefully this opportunity opens the door for other Crusaders in the USFL. I’m excited to get started in Birmingham.”
That is the hope, not just for the Cru, but for D-III football as a whole, as opportunities continue to expand for small-college stars. On Monday, it was announced that former UMHB linebacker Akeem Jackson, who played on two national title teams with the Cru, had received a USFL contract.
The league is aiming at a comeback, though the current USFL is not under the same ownership as the original organization, which operated until 1986. Notably, the USFL managed to secure 1982 Heisman Trophy Winner Herschel Walker in its inaugural season, boosting the league’s popularity and credibility.
This time around, the USFL has brought in a number of recent college standouts as the league looks to gain popularity entering the season, which begins on April 16. Former Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson and NFL journeyman Jordan Ta’amu are just two of the quarterbacks Adams will go up against in this upcoming season.
Adams, who hails from Beckville, Texas, and played at UMHB from 2014-2017 still ranks as one of the best defensive linemen in program history. He ranks third in career tackles for loss (58.5), third in career sacks (21.0), and second in career fumbles returned for a touchdown (2). Adams is also fifth in sacks in a single season, with 10.5 in 2015.
He finished his collegiate career with 166 tackles in 45 starts, and was a two-time All-American.