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Former South Florida players added to CFL and USFL rosters

Former USF cornerback Mazzi Wilkins was a key defensive player in the 2017-18 seasons. He was drafted by Philadelphia Stars of the USFL on Tuesday. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Former USF football players Mazzi Wilkins, Greg Reaves and DeVontres Dukes have taken the next step in their professional careers over the past week. The three are set to compete in non-NFL leagues in 2022.

Reaves and Wilkins both heard their names called during the inaugural USFL draft Tuesday and Wednesday. The USFL is an upstart football league with eight teams that’s slated to kick off its first season April 16.

Wilkins was selected in the 10th round of the USFL Draft by the Philadelphia Stars.

He played cornerback for the Bulls from 2015-18 and was a consistent starter in his final two seasons, racking up 110 tackles, 22 passes defended and three interceptions. He ultimately went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Wilkins was eventually signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was switched from the practice squad to the active roster multiple times before being released in January 2021.

He went on to have stints with the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens before going to the Canadian Football League (CFL) to play for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Reaves played defensive end and linebacker at USF from 2016-19. He was drafted with the first pick of the 30th round by the Tampa Bay Bandits on Wednesday.  

A former walk-on for the Bulls, Reaves went on to start 37 games over his collegiate career in which he amassed 212 tackles, 30.5 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks.

Dukes, unlike Wilkins and Reaves, is headed to the CFL after being signed by the Calgary Stampeders as a free agent on Feb. 16.

Dukes spent five seasons at USF as a wide receiver. It wasn’t until his last year in 2020 that he had an impact. That year he led the team with four receiving touchdowns and was second in receptions (24) and yards (297). 

Following his career with the Bulls, Dukes signed as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos but never played a snap for the team. He’ll look to carve out a spot for himself with the Stampeders, who are three years removed from a CFL Grey Cup win, the league’s championship.