Ex-Bucs Chosen in New Football League Draft

Lee MatthewsCorrespondent IJune 19, 2009

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Running back Lionel Gates #28 and and tight end Keith Heinrich #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate a touchdown against the Houston Texans in a pre-season game at Raymond James Stadium on August 30, 2007 in Tampa, Florida.  The Bucs won 31-24. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

They're certainly not the biggest names, but several ex-Bucs found suitors Thursday.

Five former Buccaneers were taken in the inaugural United Football League draft. The league hopes to capitalize on the absence of the Arena Football League (AFL) and the demise of NFL Europe. Play is set to begin in the fall with four teams for the first season, with games being played on Thursday and Friday nights.

Two ex-Bucs were chosen by the San Francisco franchise to be coached by ex-Vikings and Cardinals coach Dennis Green.

Wideout Larry Brackins, the club's fourth selection, spent his rookie season of 2005 on the Buccaneers practice squad after his selection from Pearl River Community College. He was released in the Bucs' 2006 training camp after nabbing two passes in the preseason.

The former Bucs' fifth round pick spent the past two seasons playing for the Philadelphia Soul of the AFL, which is on hiatus due to league credit issues.

Brackins will potentially being catching passes from a quarterback familiar to Tampa Bay area fans, as the club also selected Tampa Bay Storm quarterback Brett Dietz.

Former Auburn end Marques Gunn, who spent part of 2007 on the Bucs' practice  squad, was went to San Francisco with their eighth selection. Gunn was released by the Bucs prior to camp in 2008.

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Former Saints coach Jim Haslett, who will coach the Orlando franchise, chose three former Buccaneers with Orlando's fifth to seventh selections.

Cornerback Greg Fassitt, who spent 2008 on the Buccaneers practice squad, but was released during the offseason, was taken with the club's fifth pick.

Wide receiver Chas Gessner went next. The 'Goose,' as coined by then-coach Jon Gruden, spent parts of 2006 and 2007 on the Bucs' practice squad, and appeared in one game in 2007 when Michael Clayton was injured.

He was released by the Bucs in Nov. 2007, and spent 2008 with the Orlando Predators of the AFL.

Former Buc tight end Keith Heinrich, who spent parts of 2006 and 2007 on the Buccaneers practice squad and active roster, went with team's the seventh pick.

Heinrich was on the Bucs active roster in 2007, playing in four games. The former Brown and Dolphin was released by the Bucs prior to camp last season.

More recognizable names chosen in the league's draft include former Arizona first-round pick Wendell Bryant, ex-Broncos fullback Cecil Sapp, safety Adam Archuleta (Rams), quarterback Brooks Bollinger (Vikings), running backs LaBrandon Toefield (Jaguars) and Chris Perry (Bengals), linebacker Gary Stills (Ravens), guard Zach Pillar (UF/Titans), tight end Jermaine Wiggins (Vikings) and defensive tackle Larry Triplett (Colts).

All players selected attended league workouts, and must now decide if they will join their respective teams. UFL rosters will be augmented by additional signings, and players to be released by NFL training camps in 2009.


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