Quartet of former Nebraska football stars get second pro life

The NFL didn't quite work out for these former Nebraska football stars but the spring football leagues led to another opportunity.
Michigan State v Nebraska
Michigan State v Nebraska / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

The NFL season is just two weeks away from coming to a close and when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs, there will be one former Nebraska football player trying to do his former school proud.

As the old saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. Except in football, it’s when one season ends, another gets set to begin. In just a little over a month, a quartet of ex-Nebraska football stars will get to try their hand at professional football one more time.

The UFL, the quite interesting combination of the USFL and the XFL, kicks off its inaugural season in March. And while there weren’t a ton of former Huskers in the recently completed NFL playoffs, there will be a few ex-Cornhuskers just starting their second shot at the pros.

Former Nebraska football players get second professional life

One of the most interesting names of the four who will be trying to make it in the XFL when he couldn’t make it in the NFL is Adrian Martinez. There was a time when he looked like he might make it on the Detroit Lions practice squad but it didn’t pan out that way.

After briefly returning to Lincoln and working for Trev Alberts’ administration, Martinez has revived his playing career and signed a contract with the Birmingham Stallions.

Martinez will be joined by another former Nebraska football player in Carlos Davis. Davis has seen quite a bit of action in the NFL (most recently on the Atlanta Falcons), but now he’s giving the spring league a go.

Another former Husker, Freedom Akinmoladun, is doing to be manning the defensive line for the St. Louis Battlehawks, and former Nebraska football and Kansas State wide receiver Kade Warner has caught on with the San Antonio Brahmas.

One former Nebraska football head coach, Mike Riley, has a couple of seasons of experience in the now-UFL, but at the moment, it doesn’t appear he’s working for the league.