Bucs Get ‘Trolled’ By Tampa Bay USFL Team

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady and Bruce Arians converse before a 2021 game.

Tampa Bay will have a quarterback named Brady play this year after all.

It just isn’t Tom Brady returning to the Buccaneers at the moment. The USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits drafted quarterback Brady White from Memphis on Tuesday, February 22. Fox 13’s Kevin O’Donnell had a little fun with it.

The Athletic’s Greg Auman likewise had some fun with it on social media.


White threw for 10,690 yards and 90 touchdowns versus 30 interceptions in three seasons for Memphis. He transferred from Arizona State after hardly playing there in two seasons.

White went undrafted and competed in the Tennessee Titans training camp in 2021 but didn’t make the team. The Bandits also drafted former Bucs wide receiver John Franklin III and Bucs 2021 training camp participant, tight end De’Quan Hampton.

Former Bucs cornerback Mazzi Wilikins also found a home via the USFL draft when the Philadelphia Stars picked him. Bucs training camp and preseason participant Chidi Okeke also got picked by the USFL’s Pittsburgh Maulers.

Franklin’s Long Football Journey Continues

Franklin played for the Bucs in 2019 and came off the practice to play in a Dec. 24, 2019 game. He ran for 11 yards on one carry in that game against the Atlanta Falcons.

An ACL injury curtailed his 2020 season in training camp, and he hasn’t played since. He received a Super Bowl ring for the 2020 season. The Bucs waived him during training camp in 2021.

The former Auburn quarterback, who also played wide receiver, impressed Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. FOX’s Matt Millen commented on it during the Bucs-Falcons 2019 broadcast according to Auman.

“You want to get Bruce Arians excited, all you have to do is start talking about this guy,” Millen said via Auman. “First words out of his mouth: ‘Quicker than a hiccup.’ … Bruce loves this kid.”

Franklin’s journey to the Bucs was anything but quick. He started off at Florida State in 2013 and left in 2014 due to little playing time for the Seminoles. He then played two seasons for East Mississippi Community College before transferring to Auburn.

His time at East Mississippi became part of the Netflix series “Last Chance U” in 2015, which featured small-college players trying to make it big. While he made it to Auburn, it lasted a season in 2016 with limited playing time. He concluded his college career at Florida Atlantic in 2017.

Franklin joined the Chicago Bears in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. He spent most of the season on the practice squad, and the Bears waived him in 2019 before the Bucs claimed him.

Williams: ‘I Want to Be a Household Name’

With the USFL, Tampa native and former Buc Mazzi Wilkins gets another chance to revive his football career. Wilkins was with the Bucs from 2019 to 2020 after a college career at South Florida and high school stardom at Tampa Plant.

He came to the Bucs confident that he could carry on his local legacy.

“I want to be a household name,” Mazzi said in 2019 via reporter Chris Torello. “I’m from here. I’ve got a lot of pride here.”

Wilkins appeared in five games for the Bucs in 2019 and made three tackles. He spent the rest of the season on the practice squad. It didn’t go as well in 2020 when the Bucs waived him after training camp but reclaimed him in October 2020 after a short stint in New Orleans. He played in one game for the Bucs in 2020.

Tampa Bay released him during the playoffs, and he bounced around to The Spring League, CFL, and another two NFL teams in 2021.

For now, Wilkins’ football career will continue in Philadelphia with the USFL.