United Football League
2024 UFL Awards: Birmingham Stallions QB Adrian Martinez named MVP
United Football League

2024 UFL Awards: Birmingham Stallions QB Adrian Martinez named MVP

Updated Jun. 10, 2024 4:09 p.m. ET

With the 2024 UFL season coming to a close, it's time to honor those who stood out above the rest this year.

On Monday, the league's MVP was crowned ahead of the inaugural UFL title game between Birmingham and San Antonio.

Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year and the All-UFL teams on offense, defense and special teams were all revealed last week, and Sportsman of the Year will come later.

[Read more: UFL playoffs: Who NFL scouts will be watching this weekend]

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Let's take a look at who has been honored thus far:

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Adrian Martinez, Birmingham Stallions

Martinez led the league in rushing yards (528) during the regular season, while finishing tied for second in passing touchdowns (15) and third in passing yards (1,750). Despite not starting the season as the Stallions' starter, the 24-year-old signal-caller made the most of every opportunity and gave Birmingham the boost it needed to dominate the league.

[Read more: UFL 2024: Skip Holtz, Zach Potter and the relentless focus behind a football dynasty]

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Hakeem Butler, St. Louis Battlehawks 

Butler led the league in receiving yards (652) and yards per catch (14.5) during the regular season. He also finished with the fourth-most receptions (45), tied for the second-most receiving scores (five) and the seventh-most all-purpose yards.

Butler, who was one of only two receivers to have multiple 100-yard receiving games, was responsible for two of the league's top three receiving performances (147 and 134 yards) this season. What's more, his two touchdown receptions in each of those games also tied him for most receiving scores in a regular-season game, and his 80-yard touchdown vs. the DC Defenders was the second-longest play from scrimmage during the regular season.

Butler is in his second season with the Battlehawks.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Breeland Speaks, Michigan Panthers

Speaks led the league with 9.5 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss during the regular season. He also recorded the most tackles for a loss in a single game this season when he had four against the Houston Roughnecks in Week 9. 

The 6-foot-3 edge/outside linebacker is also the only player to record 3.0 sacks in two games, reaching that mark against the Memphis Showboats in Week 5. Earlier this week, Speaks was named to the inaugural All-UFL defensive team.

The former Ole Miss standout was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft (46th overall), but he didn't do much to make a name for himself before landing on IR in the summer of 2019. He was subsequently waived by K.C. in the fall of 2020, but he has been a force over these past two years of spring football.

Last season in the USFL, Speaks racked up 9.0 sacks and 53 total tackles.

UFL COACH OF THE YEAR

Mike Nolan, Panthers

Nolan engineered an impressive turnaround for the Panthers and has been rewarded for it. 

In 2023, Nolan's first season on the job, the Panthers finished 4-6 in the North Division of the USFL. They benefited from a soft division, making the playoffs despite being outscored 215-171 on the season. They were then beaten by the now-defunct Pittsburgh Maulers in the postseason.

But the Panthers have looked much different in 2024, going 7-3 to finish second in the USFL Conference. Two of those losses came to the division champion Stallions by a total of eight points. Still, they've outscored their opponents 228-189.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Chris Garrett, Battlehawks

Garrett, a 25-year-old linebacker out of Concordia-St. Paul, was an absolute menace on special teams for the XFL Conference champion Battlehawks this season.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder had 14 tackles and two forced fumbles on special teams alone — a remarkable feat. He also blocked a pair of punts, and was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded special teams player of the week three times.

Garrett was drafted in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, though he only played in one game that season.

ALL-UFL OFFENSE

QB: Adrian Martinez, Stallions
RB: Jacob Saylors, Battlehawks
WR: Hakeem Butler, Battlehawks; Daewood Davis, Showboats; Marcus Simms, Panthers
TE: Jace Sternberger, Stallions
OG: Zack Johnson, Stallions; Kohl Levao, Brahmas
C: Mike Panasiuk, Battlehawks
OT: Jaryd Jones-Smith, Battlehawks; Bobby Evans, Renegades

ALL-UFL DEFENSE

DL: Carlos Davis, Stallions; Daniel Wise, Panthers
Edge/OLB: Breeland Speaks, Panthers; Chris Odom, Roughnecks
LB: Tavante Beckett, Brahmas; Willie Harvey, Battlehawks
CB: Deandre Baker, Defenders; Nate Brooks, Panthers; Ajene Harris, Renegades
S: Kai Nacua, Panthers; A.J. Thomas, Stallions

ALL-UFL SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Jake Bates, Panthers
P: Marquette King, Renegades
LS: Jordan Ober, Panthers
Returner: Chris Rowland, Defenders 

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