Scooby Wright can forever say he’s a champion.
The former All-American Arizona Wildcats linebacker delivered perhaps the biggest play of his professional career to clinch the Birmingham Stallions the inaugural USFL title Sunday night by picking off Philadelphia Stars quarterback K.J. Costello and returning the interception for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The pick six proved to the difference as Birmingham held on to beat to Philadelphia 33-30 in Canton, Ohio.
SCOOBY WITH THE INTERCEPTION OMGGGGG @TwoStarScoob— Birmingham Stallions (@USFLStallions) July 4, 2022
: FOX pic.twitter.com/hUUPf0AkSN
Wright finished the game with three tackles in addition to the interception. He finishes the inaugural season of the USFL with 55 tackles in eight games.
The USFL is a minor league football league founded in 2021. It carries the same name as the old USFL of the 1980s but is not officially associated with. the former league.
Wright’s participation in the USFL came after stints in the XFL and The Spring League. Both leagues folded before they could complete a full season.
“After playing in two failed pre-leagues and getting to play one all the way through, this means a lot,” Wright said on the Fox broadcast after the game. “A lot of uncertainty the last few years with football and stuff. I’m just grateful this stage is here and allowed me to play the game I love with the people I love and my teammates.”
"Teamwork. Team, team, team."@TwoStarScoob spoke with @BrockHuard after becoming a USFL champion! @USFLStallions pic.twitter.com/CQVj7BmNYJ— USFL (@USFL) July 4, 2022
It’s little surprise that Wright turned out to be the man of the hour Sunday. The former 2016 NFL Draft pick excelled in the USFL regular season, earning Defensive Player of the Week Honors in week 4 after recording six tackles and one sack.
Wright missed a game in May due to a calf injury but returned in time for the playoffs.
In the championship game Sunday, Wright faced former NAU quarterback Case Cookus, who started for Philadelphia. Cookus left the game with an injury with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
His backup, Costello, played at Stanford from 2017-19.
Wright’s performance in the USFL will likely catch the attention of NFL front offices. Wright last played in the NFL in 2017 when he suited up for the Arizona Cardinals.
The last few months proved Two-Star Scoob still has the drive that endeared him to college football fans. Whatever happens next in his career, he’ll always have this season to return to.
“When you’re stamped on that trophy for the first time, it’s pretty cool that you’re able to do that,” Wright said.