AUDL Buzzer Beater: Best College Players in the Pros

Chicago Makes its Midwest Statement, and Philadelphia retains the Commonwealth Cup

DC Breeze’s Jacques Nissen. Photo: AUDL.

Hi everyone, apologies for the late column this week. I was both covering and enjoying the D-I College Championships over in Mason, Ohio. Aside from some fantastic games, I got to glimpse a handful of AUDL players competing on the highest stage in the college division. A few, like Kevin Pignone (UNC Darkside, Carolina Flyers) and Cade White (Texas TUFF, Houston Havoc) have already played in AUDL games, overlapping their college and semi-pro seasons. Others are yet to make their debut. Now that the college season is finished, here are a few stars who could have a big impact on the pro season, plus scores and standings:

Scores and Standings through Week 5

Impact College Players

Calvin Brown (Cal Poly SLO SLOCORE, Los Angeles Aviators)
Brown was built to play on the pro field. With rangy throws and sneaky good athleticism, Brown will be a jolt of energy for an Aviators squad in need of a boost.

Calvin Stoughton (Colorado Mamabird, Colorado Summit)
After a star season with Denver Johnny Bravo in the club division, Stoughton is joining many of his O-line teammates on the Summit. While his college team disappointed with an early exit this weekend, Stoughton’s dynamism will be a welcome addition to a Summit team on the right track to get back to Championship Weekend.

Danny Landesman (Colorado Mamabird, Colorado Summit)
Stoughton’s teammate has been playing in the AUDL for quite some time now – the 22 year old is entering his fourth AUDL season. Last year he was a 97% passer for one of the best teams in the league. We’re all excited to see how Year 2 in Colorado goes for one of the game’s brightest stars.

Jacques Nissen (Brown Brownian Motion, DC Breeze)
Speaking of stars, Nissen was probably the best player this past weekend. Nearly leading seventh-seeded Brown to a colossal upset of UNC in the quarterfinal, Nissen showed off an athletic skillset that goes beyond his reputation as one of the game’s best pocket passers. He’ll be a welcome addition back to a Breeze team that now has an embarrassment of riches worth of offensive talent.

John Clyde (Texas Tuff, Houston Havoc)
The defensive leader of an overachieving Texas team, Clyde’s well-rounded skillset will give Havoc coaches plenty of options to figure out how to incorporate him into the fold of one on the league’s most exciting teams.

Luca Harwood (UMass Zoodisc, Boston Glory)
One of the breakout stars of the 2023 college season, Harwood returns to the Boston offense with point-and-shoot ability and the athleticism necessary to get open against tough matchups. With former UMass stars Orion Cable and Ben Sadok around, he might not even have the toughest matchups on the field the way he did this weekend playing for UMass in a second place effort.

Gavin Abrahamsson (UMass Zoodisc, Philadephia Phoenix)
Abrahamsson was a D-line grinder for the Phoenix last season, but it will be interesting to see where they put him after a college season spent as a top-tier finisher on offense.

Ke’Ali McCarter (Oregon Ego, Portland Nitro)
For as dynamic as McCarter can be, he plays with an unassuming, quiet brand of swagger. His skillset on offense and large catching radius will help Portland continue to develop as the Nitro look for their first win.

Andrew Li (UNC Darkside, Carolina Flyers)
North Carolina’s Callahan Award nominee and a fiery handler defender, Li slots on to a Flyers team tailored to his strengths.

Mailbag

Have a question about the AUDL? Send it in to [email protected] with AUDL Mailbag in the subject line. You can also message me on Twitter at @StallSeven.

**I’m leaving out the Mailbag and News & Notes section this week because most of my attention was focused on the College Championships. They’ll return next week.**

Power Rankings

  • Just about everything stays the same this week. Minnesota drops a bit after losing to a Chicago team on the second day of a back-to-back. It’s unclear which team that says more about (and Minnesota was playing without Abe Coffin), so I’m looking forward to seeing the division in action in the coming weeks to sort out the Minnesota-Indy-Chicago cluster.
  1. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started writing for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years. After a stint in Los Angeles coaching high school and college teams, they moved to Chicago to experience real seasons and eat deep dish pizza. You can reach Alex through e-mail ([email protected]) or Twitter (@arubes14).

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