USFL stars squaring off in championship game 'grateful' for opportunity to play in league

Bolden’s Birmingham Stallions will take on Alexander’s Philadelphia Stars at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, 오하이오, for the title, wrapping up the rebooted league’s inaugural season.

Bolden came to the USFL after he was unable to stick with an NFL team. He was with the San Francisco 49ers for more than a year and then joined the Buffalo Bills.

He was on the Detroit Lions’ roster for a few months before he was let go in August 2021.

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Birmingham Stallions wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. (7) celebrates after a 19-yard touchdown reception against the New Orleans Breakers during a USFL game April 30, 2022, at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala.

Birmingham Stallions wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. (7) celebrates after a 19-yard touchdown reception against the New Orleans Breakers during a USFL game April 30, 2022, at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Stallions selected Bolden in the 13th round of the draft, and he became an all All-USFL selection as a wide receiver and a special teams player.

Alexander was drafted by the Stars a few years after he had played his final collegiate game. Alexander was a quarterback and wide receiver at Florida International, where he was a backup quarterback to Alex McGough, who plays for the Stallions.

USFL STAR VICTOR BOLDEN JR. TALKS MILESTONE TOUCHDOWN, CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Philadelphia Stars wide receiver Maurice Alexander celebrates after returning a punt 87 yards for the game-winning touchdown during a USFL playoff game against the New Jersey Generals June 25, 2022, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, 오하이오.

Philadelphia Stars wide receiver Maurice Alexander celebrates after returning a punt 87 yards for the game-winning touchdown during a USFL playoff game against the New Jersey Generals June 25, 2022, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, 오하이오. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He made the most of his USFL experience, becoming an All-USFL selection as a punt returner.

Both players told Fox News Digital they were grateful for their experience in the league.

One thing I want to say is that the quality of football has been great. We got guys that are really hungry trying to get to the next level, and you could see it in our play,” Bolden said. “Guys are out there playing really hard. The USFL did a good job of providing us that opportunity to showcase what we have.

We don’t have to go to Canada or all the way across the country and be that far away from your family. The quality of football is great, and I think they did a great job preparing for this league with the Fox backup. I think that it created stability with everybody being in the same bubble. That helped a lot too. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. I’m glad that I made the decision to play.

Alexander said the USFL helped him get over some of the struggles he had the last couple years trying to make it as a football player.

USFL STAR MAURICE ALEXANDER JR. RECALLS GO-AHEAD PUNT-RETURN TD, TALKS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

The USFL logo on a football during warmups before a game between the New Orleans Breakers and Michigan Panthers at Protective Stadium May 28, 2022, 버밍엄, Ala.

The USFL logo on a football during warmups before a game between the New Orleans Breakers and Michigan Panthers at Protective Stadium May 28, 2022, 버밍엄, Ala. (Patrick Smith/USFL/Getty Images)

The USFL took a chance on me, and I’m grateful for that because, before my senior of college, 2019, I got hurt. 그때, 에 2020, COVID hit. 그래서, it was kind of tough for me, and I was grateful and eager to get back and show that my hard work is being put to use and that it’s paying off now,” Alexander said.

After two and a half years of not playing and then coming right into it, now contributing the way I am, that just kind of showed that when I wasn’t playing, I was putting in the work, stayed focused, keeping faith in the man upstairs and when opportunity presents itself, I was here to execute and follow through.

Bolden and Alexander each made key plays that helped their teams reach the title game.

Bolden returned a kick for a touchdown against the New Orleans Breakers. Alexander had the game-winning punt-return touchdown against the New Jersey Generals.

The Stallions and Stars play Sunday night at 7:30 ET on FOX.

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