Channing Stribling helping to lead surging Stars in USFL


You don’t get to be a league leader in anything without doing your homework.

Philadelphia Stars cornerback Channing Stribling, whose seven interceptions are tops in the USFL entering Saturday’s regular season finale, makes sure he does his. In the film room, he’ll hone in on a handful of plays that the Stars’ opponents like to run in certain situations.

But on game day, the learning is in real-time, as his watchful eyes spot plays he hadn’t picked out in the days before.

“People ask me why do I ‘press bail’ or play a certain technique, and they think I either can’t press or something like that – no, I just like watching the game and seeing what happens,” Stribling explained to NBC Sports this week.

“A lot of the routes that I’ve had interceptions on – I’ve seen them, during the course of the game, happen on the other side. I’m like, ‘Alright, when it comes to this side, I’ll be able to play this way and that way.’”

Stribling’s hunches have proven correct more often than not. His big-play abilities landed him on the All-USFL Team, and his seven picks are nearly a third of the Stars’ league-leading 22 takeaways this season.

13 of those 22 takeaways have come during the Stars’ four-game winning streak, which they’ll put on the line Saturday against the New Jersey Generals – themselves on a eight-game winning streak.

USFL Week 10 – Philadelphia Stars (6-3) vs. New Jersey Generals (8-1)

  • When: Saturday, Noon ET on USA Network
  • Where: Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Stream:

The Stars and Generals will face each other again next Saturday, June 25, at the USFL Playoffs in Canton, Ohio. That same day, the Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers will meet in the other semifinal. The winners will square off in the Championship game July 3.

Stribling believes this may be the first time he’s ever faced the same opponent in a regular season finale and in a post-season game the following week. But he and the Stars aren’t letting their mind wander to the second contest – the one with much higher stakes.

“I think what we’ve been doing a great job of in our games is just making sure that we’re taking each game step-by-step, lock into the game plan,” he said. “We don’t really worry about the outside factors – championships and stuff like that. We just focus on playing ball and if we do that each game that we play, we’re gonna be successful.

“Our emphasis has been that – lock into just football and whatever’s in front of you right now, you know?”

RELATED: How to watch 2022 USFL Playoffs: Dates, location, matchups, TV schedule, live stream info

For much of Stribling’s life, whatever’s in front of him has constantly changed.

His mother, Sonja, and father, Dennis, both served in the Army for many years. Military life can often mean going from one place to the next and that was the case for the Striblings.

A 2016 piece from the Detroit Free Press noted that Channing Stribling lived in nine different places with eight moves during his first 18 years. But he largely took it in stride.

While he’s admittedly a shy person, Stribling says he didn’t have much trouble making friends wherever he went. Part of that was because he was constantly involved in sports from a young age.

First, it was basketball. But then came football.

“I started playing football probably in the first or second grade,” he said. “I don’t know what age I was, but that was my first time playing. I don’t remember too much about it. I just know that I played it and it was fun. Once I started getting older, I started playing in Pop Warner leagues and stuff.

“… I was playing basketball and I think after that – I think the parents wanted their kid to be a little more busy, so they put me in football, too. From then on, from that point, I think I’ve played sports every season.”

RELATED: USFL selects 25 players to be part of inaugural 2022 All-USFL team

The moves finally came to an end in North Carolina, where Stribling became an All-State player at Butler High School (Matthews, N.C.). From there, he went on to play at the University of Michigan (2013-16). In his 2016 senior season, he earned All-Big Ten second-team honors while holding his own on a defense that included All-Americans Jourdan Lewis (now a Dallas Cowboy) and Jabrill Peppers (now a New England Patriot).

But his pro career has had more twists and turns. Stribling spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts (twice), San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers over 2017 and 2018, but never played in an NFL game.

Since then, he’s carried on in the alternative leagues: The ill-fated AAF (Memphis Express, 2019) and XFL (Seattle Dragons, 2020), plus the Canadian Football League (Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 2019 & 2021).

Last but not least, there’s The Spring League, where Stribling and well over a dozen future Stars played under head coach Bart Andrus. The group earned a TSL championship in 2020, with Stribling chipping in two interceptions in the title game – one of which he ran back for a touchdown.

While Stribling was in Canada last year, he found out about the USFL with the help of his girlfriend.

“At the time, I wasn’t really thinking about it or had seen anything,” he said. “But once she put that in my head, that’s when I started thinking about what’s going on and started paying attention.

“I noticed (the USFL) was kind of like The Spring League making a bigger jump, so I’m like, ‘OK, (Andrus) is gonna be back. I’m probably gonna be with whatever team he coaches depending on how they do the Draft.’”

Sure enough, Andrus took him in the eighth round as he fortified the Stars with his old players. And since then, Stribling has become the league’s top ball hawk.

Will he claim another championship on 4th of July weekend? Will the NFL give him another look?

We’ll find out soon enough. But no matter what, Stribling will approach things – his preparation, his games, his craft – with the same relentlessness and determination to stay the course that was instilled in him by his parents.

“Watching from the outside in, seeing everything they’ve been through, everything they’ve kind of sacrificed – for me, it made me think about, ‘If they can do that, give their life toward serving an entire country, I can give my last 10% of energy towards football,'” he said.

“That’s not a lot compared to what they’re doing.”

First and 10 with Channing Stribling

10 quick questions to get to know the new talent of the USFL

Pre-game ritual?

“For me, I think the main thing is I can’t be uptight. I can’t be rah-rah or serious. That’s just not me. I have to be laughing. I think it was the first game – that was the first time I was uptight, and I had to go on TikTok and Twitter and watch funny videos. I went on Hulu and watched Martin. I love Martin. I watched a whole episode and was just laughing, so it kind of helped me just stay loose. I’ll probably just say that – just making sure I’m not uptight or too locked in.”

Post-game ritual?

“The main part is – we call it ‘chopping.’ Talking, basically, go somewhere and eating and talking. Just kind of reflecting on not just football, but life in general. It starts off with football: How the game went, where I could’ve done better, what went well, what didn’t go well. Then you think about the future, in football and past football. Really, just chopping – I can’t just go home and go to sleep. I have to just talk about the game and stuff.”

Favorite food?

“I love pizza. I haven’t had it in a while, just because I’ve had to slow down on fast food. It’s not really working, but post-game for sure, if I had to choose one, it’d be pizza. Or Zaxby’s.”

Favorite football player?

“I’d say Richard Sherman, for sure. I modeled my game after him a little bit.”

Favorite movie?

“I’ve got three – The Wood, Space Jam and The Sixth Man.”

Favorite vacation spot?

“Hawaii. I used to live in Hawaii, and it was beautiful. If I get any vacation time, that’d be the spot for sure.”

Most famous person you’ve met outside of football?

“I haven’t really met a lot of people who are famous. I try to keep to myself, really. … Oh, I met Sinbad! I met Sinbad when I was in Germany. My parents had a basketball game and he did the halftime routine while I was shooting baskets. I was young, so I was shooting ball and I didn’t know who he was. I recognized his face as I got older and started seeing him and was like, ‘OK, was that the guy in Germany at our halftime game?’”

How would your family and friends describe you as a person?

“I’d say honest. Funny. Goofy. Passionate. Hard-working.”

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

“(I’m) over-analytical. I wish I wasn’t that way. It’s a gift and a curse. In football, it helps a lot. But in certain situations, I’ll think past what it really is versus what it could be.”

Name one thing about yourself that not everybody knows about you.

“I think everybody knows a lot about me. (Laughs) I don’t know. I’m pretty much an open book. I don’t think I have anything people don’t already know about me.”

2022 USFL Week 10 Schedule

Saturday, June 18

Sunday, June 19

2023 USFL Week 8 Schedule: How to watch Gamblers vs Maulers, Stars vs Stallions start times, live stream info


Week 8 of the 2023 USFL season  features four games you don’t want to miss. First, on Saturday, June 3 it’s the Houston Gamblers (4-3) vs Pittsburgh Maulers (2-5) at 12:00 PM ET on USA Network and Peacock. Then at 3:00 PM, the Philadelphia Stars (4-3) will go head-to-head with the Birmingham Stallions (5-2) on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: Control what you can control – How journey through the fire led Generals RB Darius Victor to the USFL

On Sunday, June 4, the USFL excitement starts at 1:00 PM with a Memphis Showboats (4-3) vs New Jersey Generals match up. Then, at 4:00 PM the Michigan Panthers (3-4) face the the New Orleans Breakers (4-3) to cap off the night. See below for additional information on how to watch/live stream each game this weekend.

RELATED: 2023 USFL Season Schedule – Dates, times, locations, new teams, playoff format, scores and more

Saturday, June 3:

Houston Gamblers at Pittsburgh Maulers – 12 p.m. (USA and Peacock)

Philadelphia Stars at Birmingham Stallions – 3 p.m. (NBC and Peacock)

Sunday, June 4:

Memphis Showboats at New Jersey Generals – 1 p.m. (FOX)

Michigan Panthers at New Orleans Breakers – 4 p.m. (FOX)

Where are the new locations for the 2023 USFL Season?

The 2023 USFL season will feature four host cities: Detroit, Memphis, Canton, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama.

  • The New Jersey Generals and Pittsburgh Maulers will be hosted in Canton, Ohio at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
  • The Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers will be hosted in Birmingham at Protective Stadium.
  • The Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars will be hosted in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field.
  • The Memphis Showboats and Houston Gamblers will be hosted in Memphis, Tennessee at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

RELATED: 2023 USFL Season –  Who are this year’s USFL head coaches?

How can I watch USFL games on Peacock?

Sign up here to watch all of our LIVE sports, sports shows, documentaries, classic matches, and more. You’ll also get tons of new & hit movies and TV shows, including Peacock Originals and current hits from NBC and Bravo. There’s always something new to discover.

What devices does Peacock support?

You can enjoy Peacock on a variety of devices. View the full list of supported devices here.

Check out these stories from NBC Sports’ Road to the USFL Kickoff Series:

USFL Week 8 Playoff Clinching Scenarios

2023 USFL Season Schedule: Dates, times, locations, new teams, playoff format, scores, and more


The 2023 USFL Season kicks off on Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16 with four thrilling games. First, the Philadelphia Stars will take on the Memphis Showboats at 4:30 PM ET followed by a New Jersey Generals vs Birmingham Stallions match up at 7:30 PM ET. On Sunday, the Michigan Panthers will go head-to-head with the Houston Gamblers at noon, followed by a Pittsburgh Maulers vs New Orleans Breakers match up at 6:30 PM.

RELATED: 2023 USFL Draft order – Complete list of every pick from Round 1 through Round 10

Season 2 of the USFL features four host cities–Detroit, Memphis, Canton, and Birmingham. This is a significant change from last year when all 10-regular season games were contested in Birmingham, Alabama and playoff games took place in Canton, Ohio. Additionally, the 2023 season will also feature a new team. The Tampa Bay Bandits will now be called the Memphis Showboats. Memphis was one of the original teams featured in the first edition of the USFL.

See below for the full 2023 USFL Season Schedule as well as answers to any questions you may have before the upcoming season. Be sure to check back for the latest updates to the schedule.

RELATED: Control what you can control – How journey through the fire led Generals RB Darius Victor to the USFL

How many teams are in the USFL?

There are a total of 8 teams in the USFL that make up two divisions:

North Division:

  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers

South Division:

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • New Orleans Breakers
  • Memphis Showboats

Where will games be contested during the 2023 USFL Season?

The 2023 USFL season will feature four host cities: Detroit, Memphis, Canton, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama.

  • The New Jersey Generals and Pittsburgh Maulers will be hosted in Canton, Ohio at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
  • The Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers will be hosted in Birmingham at Protective Stadium.
  • The Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars will be hosted in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field.
  • The Memphis Showboats and Houston Gamblers will be hosted in Memphis, Tennessee at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

RELATED: Just Keep Going – Stallions RB CJ Marable makes a policy of perseverance

How many weeks are in the USFL’s regular season?

There are 10 weeks in the regular season. Each team will go head-to-head with division rivals twice and face off against teams of the opposite division once.

How will 2023 USFL playoffs work?

After the 10 week regular season comes to a close, the top two teams from each division will go head-to-head in two playoff games in late June, with the winners advancing to the USFL Championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

2023 USFL Season Schedule:

*All times are listed as ET


Saturday, April 15
Philadelphia Stars 27, Memphis Showboats 23
Birmingham Stallions 27, New Jersey Generals 10

Sunday, April 16
Michigan Panthers 29, Houston Gamblers 13 
New Orleans Breakers 22, Pittsburgh Maulers 15


Saturday, April 22
New Orleans Breakers 38, Houston Gamblers 31 
Birmingham Stallions 42, Memphis Showboats 2

Sunday, April 23
New Jersey Generals 20, Pittsburgh Maulers 3 
Michigan Panthers 24, Philadelphia Stars 10


Saturday, April 29
New Orleans Breakers 45, Birmingham Stallions 31
Houston Gamblers 30, Memphis Showboats 26 

Sunday, April 30
Pittsburgh Maulers 21, Philadelphia Stars 13
New Jersey Generals 28, Michigan Panthers 13 


Saturday, May 6

Houston Gamblers 41, Philadelphia Stars 16
Memphis Showboats 29,  Michigan Panthers 10

Saturday, May 7

New Orleans Breakers 20, New Jersey Generals 17
Birmingham Stallions 24, Pittsburgh Maulers 20


Saturday, May 13
Pittsburgh Maulers 23,  Michigan Panthers 7
Houston Gamblers 27, Birmingham Stallions 20

Sunday, May 14
Philadelphia Stars 24, New Jersey Generals 21 
Memphis Showboats 17,  New Orleans Breakers 10


Saturday, May 20
Memphis Showboats 22, Pittsburgh Maulers 0
Birmingham Stallions 27, Michigan Panthers 13

Sunday, May 21
Philadelphia Stars 16, New Orleans Breakers 10
Houston Gamblers 16, New Jersey Generals 10


Saturday, May 27
Birmingham Stallions 24, New Orleans 20
Philadelphia Stars 37, Pittsburgh Maulers 31

Sunday, May 28
Memphis Showboats 23, Houston Gamblers 20
Michigan Panthers 25, New Jersey Generals 22


Saturday, June 3
Houston at Pittsburgh – 12 p.m. (USA and Peacock)
Philadelphia at Birmingham – 3 p.m. (NBC and Peacock)

Sunday, June 4
Memphis at New Jersey – 1 p.m. (FOX)
Michigan at New Orleans – 4 p.m. (FOX)


Saturday, June 10
Michigan at Pittsburgh – 12 p.m. (FOX)
New Orleans at Memphis – 3 p.m. (NBC and Peacock)

Sunday, June 11
Birmingham at Houston – 2 p.m. (NBC and Peacock)
Philadelphia at New Jersey – 7 p.m. (FOX)


Saturday, June 17
Pittsburgh at New Jersey – 1 p.m. (USA and Peacock)
Birmingham at Memphis – 4 p.m. (FOX)

Sunday, June 18
New Orleans at Houston – 4 p.m. (FS1)
Philadelphia at Michigan – 7 p.m. (FOX)

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