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Locke On The UFL: “I’m Not Going To That Crap”

With undrafted rookie free agents having to wait out the NFL lockout before signing with clubs and then attempting to make a big enough impression to earn a contract… the UFL held its own draft earlier this week.

The third-year, five-team league was hoping to kick start the careers of some of the best players not drafted into the NFL.  But most of the UFAs are choosing to wait out the big boy league’s labor strife.  Part of the reason is in the UFL’s contract structure.  The UFL’s contracts require a buyout be paid to the league if an NFL team signs a player from talent pool.  And that’s kept many NFL teams from inking UFLers to date.  The agents for this year’s UFAs know it.

Len Pasquarelli of The Sports Xchange and reports that most of the UFAs are still steering clear of the UFL so far.  Ex-Kentucky tailback Derrick Locke went so far as to say, “I’m not going to that (crap).”  Only he didn’t say crap.

While it’s fine to be finicky now, if the NFL lockout drags into the regular season, several UFAs might have to stomach a year in the UFL or in Canada just to get a paycheck.

That or they better learn a trade.  Maybe they can cut that meat.

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SEC Headlines – 5/4/11 Part One

1.  Tuscaloosa is beginning to rebound from last week’s devastating tornadoes both physically and spritually.

2.  And Auburn fans are helping with the recovery effort.

3.  A good home schedule actually has season ticket sales at Ole Miss ahead of last year’s pace.  (That’s impressive coming off a 4-8 season.)

4.  New co-defensive coordinator Geoff Collins is already burning up the recruiting trail for Mississippi State.

5.  Here’s a look at Georgia’s front seven on defense.

6.  For former Kentucky tailback Derrick Locke, it might be the UFL before the NFL.

7.  The UK board of trustees has approved a plan to spend $6.25 million on new video boards and a sound system at Commonwealth Stadium.

8.  Tennessee would have probably been better off if it had gone straight from Phillip Fulmer to Derek Dooley and bypassing Lane Kiffin altogether.

9.  Wisely, the NCAA is going to allow the University of Alabama to provide some extra benefits to its athletes who were impacted by last week’s storms.

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Don’t Laugh, Five SEC’ers Picked In UFL Draft

Thanks to the NFL’s ongoing lockout and labor strife, this year’s UFL draft has taken on some extra meaning for several former SEC players.  This year’s undrafted (by the NFL) free agents cannot cut deals with the league’s teams as is usually the case.  Until the lockout is lifted, those players who went undrafted are left to wander in no man’s land.

Enter the UFL.

The small fall league — with teams in Hartford, Las Vegas, Omaha, Sacramento and Virginia (playing in Virginia Beach) — might be a solid landing spot for UFAs in 2011.  Even when the lockout ends, undrafted players figure to have less time to prove themselves to their NFL coaches. 

Considering some of the head coaches in the league — Jerry Glanville, Jim Fassel, Marty Schottenheimer — a few UFAs might have better long-term pro prospects by spending a year under UFL tutelage and then trying to sign with an NFL team at a later date.

The UFL held its draft yesterday and the following ex-SEC’ers were selected:

CB Reynaldo Hill, Florida — Omaha
DT Ian Scott, Florida — Virginia
QB Jeremiah Masoli, Ole Miss — Omaha
RB Derrick Locke, Kentucky — Omaha
RB Mario Fannin, Auburn — Las Vegas

Don’t sell undrafted free agents short.  Last year, the NFL’s leading rusher was former Tennessee running back Arian Foster, himself a UFA.

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