Former Gators running back Mark Thompson named USFL offensive player of year

Houston Gamblers star finishes with 653 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns
Houston Gamblers running back Mark Thompson in 2022
Posted at 9:44 PM, Jun 28, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Houston Gamblers running back Mark Thompson is the 2023 United States Football League offensive player of the year, the USFL announced Wednesday.

Thompson set a modern USFL record with 14 rushing touchdowns in eight games this season.

The 28-year-old finished with 653 rushing yards and 90 receiving yards for the Gamblers.

Only six players scored more touchdowns in a spring season than Thompson, and that was in the first iteration of the USFL during an 18-game season.

Thompson played for the Florida Gators in college, rushing for 596 yards and five touchdowns during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He also caught 16 passes for 184 receiving yards and a score.

Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson scores 24-yard TD past Florida State Seminoles safety Trey Marshall in 2017
Florida running back Mark Thompson scores a touchdown on a 24-yard run past Florida State safety Trey Marshall during the first half Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Gainesville, Fla.

Undrafted out of college, Thompson spent time with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Las Vegas Raiders, but he never made a regular-season roster.

Despite Thompson's accolades, the Gamblers missed the postseason with a .500 record.

Michigan Panthers linebacker Frank Ginda was also named the USFL's defensive player of the year.