USFL’s Derrick Dillon reflects on ‘exciting’ historic weekend: ‘I just spoke it into existence’

A USFL player entered the history books for the second straight week.

On Saturday, Memphis Showboats wide receiver and kick returner Derrick Dillon completed a rare feat against the Pittsburgh Maulers. He returned a missed field goal kick 109 yards for a touchdown and helped the Showboats to their third straight victory, 22-0.

Dillon told Fox News Digital in an interview Monday he was still in “disbelief” over the play.


Derrick Dillon vs the Breakers

Derrick Dillon, #4 of Memphis Showboats, runs the ball against Adonis Alexander, #3 of the New Orleans Breakers, during the first quarter at Protective Stadium on May 14, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Jaden Powell/USFL/Getty Images for USFL)

“I was watching the replay for the last couple of days just trying to process it all because I caught the ball, I look down to make sure I didn’t step out and everything and then seeing people running at me all type of ways … Yeah, I analyzed the video a couple of times,” he said.

Dillon somehow made the catch off the kick, which was wide to Maulers kicker Chris Blewitt’s right, and stayed in bounds in the process. He then ran all the way to the other end zone for the key touchdown right before halftime, setting an all-time record throughout professional football.

He was named the USFL’s Special Teams Player of the Week. Last week, Philadelphia Stars kicker Luis Aguilar tied a record for most field-goal makes in a single game with eight.

“It’s exciting because I didn’t get a chance to win it last year,” Dillon told Fox News Digital. “And the crazy part about it, I was thinking about it earlier that week. Like, man, as soon as I get a chance I wanna win Player of the Week. So, now that it happened, I just spoke it into existence. It’s really exciting.”


Derrick Dillon hugs Todd Haley

Memphis Showboats head coach Todd Haley congratulates Derrick Dillon, #4, after Dillion returned a missed field goal for a touchdown during the 1st half of the game against the Pittsburgh Maulers at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium on May 20, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Joe Murphy/USFL/Getty Images for USFL)

Dillon was a standout wide receiver at LSU playing with Joe Burrow before he turned pro. In the Tigers’ championship season in 2019, he had 15 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He played in the team’s Fiesta Bowl win in the 2018 season, recording two catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

He went undrafted in 2020 and signed before the start of the season with the New York Giants, but he never appeared in a game.

Derrick Dillon at LSU

Derrick Dillon, #19 of the LSU Tigers, runs with the ball in the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs during the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Dec. 7, 2019 in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Derrick Dillon with the Giants

Derrick Dillon, #6 of the New York Giants, misses a pass during the Blue and White scrimmage at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 28, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Bandits selected him in the first-ever USFL player draft in 2022. After the season, he tried to latch onto the Cleveland Browns’ 53-man roster but was waived before the start of the season.

Dillon came back to the team as they moved to Memphis to become the Showboats. Dillon said he is fortunate the USFL gave him an opportunity to further his playing career.

“It gives people like me the opportunity to show what we can do on the field and hopefully get a chance at the next level,” he said. “I really love it. They’re giving guys another opportunity to play professional football and another opportunity to try and make it back to the NFL or to the NFL for the first time.”


Memphis is in last place in the South Division with a 3-3 record. The team has a key divisional matchup against the Houston Gamblers on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. There are four games remaining in the regular season.

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