Willie Roaf
Louisiana Tech star Willie Roaf went on to an NFL Hall of Fame career (PHOTO CREDIT: New Orleans Saints)

Conference USA Football's All-Time NFL Team

With the college football season near, let's look back at some great alumni from current Conference USA programs. And yes, again, we know many if not nearly all of the people mentioned below did not play in the current organization known as C-USA.

We here at FanBuzz don't care, what we are interested in is a team made up of great NFL products from the nine 2023 Conference USA teams.

Present-day C-USA team alumni had 15 around players we deemed very strong, with some achieving NFL Hall of Fame status — as we are coincidentally celebrating this year's HOF this week. In fact, there are four Hall of Famers from the nine schools currently in the conference, including legendary QB Terry Bradshaw. Along with Bradshaw is offensive tackle Willie Roaf, a legendary player with 11 Pro Bowls to his credit. Could you imagine a gridiron world in which Willie Roaf is blocking for Bradshaw so he has time to throw touchdowns? It would be amazing. Along with a line led by Roaf, think about how Bradshaw would also throw to 11,800+-yard pro football receiver Don Maynard from his UTEP days and how they could work to win games.

Don Maynard

UTEP product Don Maynard made the Hall of Fame (PHOTO CREDIT - La. Tech Athletics)

With these Hall-of-Famers, there are also great depth areas for the offense — like Middle Tennessee's Dwight Stone, who could make a key catch in the big games. Then there is offensive lineman Jerry DeLucca (Middle Tennessee), who adds good depth to any offensive line. And Keith McKeller (Jacksonville State) would be in the TE position — a good piece for any dream team. 

The defense also looks like a stout group, with legendary defensive lineman Fred Dean (Louisiana Tech) terrorizing offensive lines. Having a Hall of Famer like Dean could help a defensive front win crucial games in college and the NFL. The linebacker corps from current C-USA schools also includes UTEP's Seth Joyner, who could sack and force the ball out of players' hands. With career stats that include 26 forced fumbles, the fantasy of a great mythical C-USA team linebacker corps could settle for a consistent player. The secondary also has top players in the top 15 with two great stars like Kevin Byard, who is a beast as we speak (type?), and a quality DB like Julian Spence. This defense has a great front and quality secondary and could do well for this fantasy team. 

There are also quality special teams studs who contributed in the NFL and they came from these current C-USA schools. Guido Merkens (Sam Houston) could give dream special teams movement with a good run due to his career of punt returns for 126 yards. Along with Merkens is Matt Stover kicking winning field goals. There is also Trey Junkin, who is like a Swiss army knife in passing, rushing, and defense. The CUSA top 15 includes some top names who could help a dream team.

Now? Let's take a look at the list.


1 OL LOUISIANA TECH Willie Roaf (*) 1993-2005 11 Pro-Bowls
2 QB LOUISIANA TECH Terry Bradshaw (*) 1970-1983 27,989 Yds, 212 Tds
3 WR UTEP Don Maynard (*) 1958-1973 11,834 Rec Yds, 88 Tds
4 DL LOUISIANA TECH Fred Dean (*) 1975-1985 92.0 Sacks
5 LB UTEP Seth Joyner 1986-1998 52.0 Sacks, 26 FF
6 DB MIDDLE TENN. Kevin Byard 2016-2022 27 Ints, 333 Int Yds
7 PK LOUISIANA TECH Matt Stover 1991-2009  1 Pro Bowl, 471 FGM
8 WR MIDDLE TENN. Dwight Stone 1987-2000  2478 Rec Yds, 12 Tds
9 LB LOUISIANA TECH J.R. Williamson 1964-1970  3 Ints, 2 FR
10 OL MIDDLE TENN. Jerry DeLucca (&) 1959-1964  37 Starts
11 WR LOUISIANA TECH Cloyce Box 1949-1954 2665 Rec Yards, 32 Tds
12 TE JACKSONVILLE ST. Keith McKeller 1987-1993 1464 Rec Yds, 11 Tds
13 DB SAM HOUSTON Julian Spence 1956-1961  6 Ints, 35 Int Yds
14 OL NEW MEXICO ST. Bob Kelly 1961-1968 AV 11, 1 FR
15t ST SAM HOUSTON Guido Merkens 1978-1987  PR 126, 1 Punt Blocked
15t LS LOUISIANA TECH Trey Junkin 1983-2002  17 Rec Yds, 7 Tds

(*) - NFL Hall of Famer

(&) - Began college career at Tennessee before transferring to Middle Tennessee.