Former Illinois football players scattered throughout UFL rosters

The UFL is just about five weeks away from starting, and there are plenty of former Illinois football players suiting up in the upstart league.
Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA;  Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Isaac Darkangelo (38)
Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Isaac Darkangelo (38) / Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

We are nearing the spring, and Illinois football fans will get to see some former members of the program suiting up in the professional ranks.

Over the past few decades, numerous forms of a spring football league have come and gone. In the last couple of years alone, the United States Football League (USFL) and the Xtreme Football League (XFL) tried to give it a go, but both leagues struggled financially.

With the help of some well-known personalities and an influx of capital, both leagues decided to unite and form one league known as the United Football League (UFL).

There are two conferences in the UFL, the USFL Conference and the XFL Conference.

The USFL Conference consists of the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Roughnecks, Memphis Showboats, and Michigan Panthers. The XFL Conference boasts the Arlington Renegades, D.C. Defenders, San Antonio Brahmas, and St. Louis Battlehawks.

Illinois football has former players scattered among the UFL

Rosters are full and are getting finalized as we approach week one of the 2024 UFL season that starts on March 30. Among those who are listed on a roster on the website include multiple former Illinois football players.

  • Birmingham Stallions

DE Owen Carney

Carney played four seasons at Illinois. He started 28 games for the program, and was an All-Big Ten second team and All-Big Ten honorable mention as a junior and senior, respectively. In his final season with the Illini, Carney had 46.0 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 1.0 pass breakups.

T Christian DiLauro

DiLauro played for Illinois from 2013-2017. During his time in Champaign, he saw 38 starts for the program. After his stop at Illinois, DiLauro played for a six different NFL franchises including his last top with the Denver Broncos.

  • Houston Roughnecks

LB Khalan Tolson

Tolson suited up for Illinois from 2018-2021. He started in a total of 18 games for the program and had 48.0 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 pass breakups, and 1.0 sacks his final year with the program. The last stop Tolson made in the NFL was with the Carolina Panthers.

  • Michigan Panthers

ILB Isaac Darkangelo

Darkangelo came to Champaign from the DII ranks. He played two seasons at Illinois and started two games for the program. Darkangelo had 71.0 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, and 1.0 fumble recoveries in his final year. He made stops with the Detroit Lions and Las Vegas Raiders in 2023.

DT Jamal Milan

Milan was with the Illinois football program from 2015-2019. He started 31 games for the program during that time. As a senior, Milan had 34.0 tackles, 1.0 pass deflections, and 1.0 sacks. He was All-Big Ten honorable mention as well.

  • Arlington Renegades

DT Rod Perry

Perry came to Illinois from the FCS level. He spent two years in Champaign. During his final season with the Illini, Perry had 26.0 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, and 1.0 pass breakups. He also spent some time with the Cleveland Browns since leaving college.

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