The United States Football League ("USFL") began in 1983 as a spring professional football league to both challenge and be an alternative to the NFL. Part of the reason for the USFL's relative success, albeit brief, was due to the league's ability to obtain players that were talented enough to play in the NFL. In fact, at some point during their careers, all of the starting quarterbacks for the 1983 USFL teams would have NFL experience. Here is a list of those quarterbacks:
1. Johnnie Walton - Boston Breakers. Walton threw for almost 4,000 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Breakers in their first season. Before then, he played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1976 to 1978.
2. Bobby Scott - New Jersey Generals. Scott was the starting quarterback for the Generals' first 12 games in 1983, until he was traded to the Chicago Blitz. For both the Generals and the Blitz, Scott threw for almost 3,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. Long before his time in the USFL, Scott was Archie Manning's backup from 1973 to 1981 with the New Orleans Saints.
3. Alan Risher - Arizona Wranglers. Risher was the 6th ranked USFL passer during the 1983 season for the Wranglers. He went on to play in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1985 and for the Green Bay Packers in 1987.
4. Tom Ramsey - Los Angeles Express. Ramsey was the starter for the LA Express in 1983, and he later played for the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts from 1986 to 1989.5. Greg Landry - Chicago Blitz. Before Landry started in 1983 for the Blitz, he played from 1968 to 1981 with the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Colts. He also played for the Chicago Bears in 1984.
6. Jeff Knapple - Denver Gold. Before starting for the Gold in 1983, Knapple played briefly in the NFL for the Denver Broncos in 1980.
8. Bobby Hebert - Michigan Panthers. Hebert is one of the most well-known former USFL starters. Hebert was the MVP of the USFL in 1983, leading the Panthers to the league championship in that same year. From 1986 to 1995 Hebert played for the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons.
9. Chuck Fusina - Philadelphia Stars. From 1980 to 1982, Fusina was a backup for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started for the Stars in 1983, and led the Stars to back-to-back USFL Championships in 1984 and 1985. He also played for the Packers in 1986.
10. Reggie Collier - Birmingham Stallions. Before being traded to the Washington Federals, Collier played in the first 7 games of the 1983 season. He also played for Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1986 and 1987. Fun fact: Collier rushed for 171 yards in 1 game as a starting quarterback in 1985 for the Orlando Renegades.
11. Fred Basana - Oakland Invaders. Basana played for the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants in 1977 and 1978. He led the Invaders to the USFL playoffs in 1983, passing for almost 4,000 yards and 21 touchdowns.
12. John Reaves - Tampa Bay Bandits. Reaves played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cinncinati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings and Houston Oilers from 1972 to 1981. Then, he became the Bandits' starting quarterback in 1983, and would remain the starter for the 1984 and 1985 seasons. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.