Panthers’ Speaks named UFL’s Defensive Player of the Year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The awards keep coming for the Michigan Panthers as they get set to take on the Birmingham Stallions in the USFL Conference Championship Game.

After seven players were named to the All-UFL team and head coach Mike Nolan won the Coach of the Year award earlier this week, defensive end Breeland Speaks was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the league Friday.

Speaks led the UFL in sacks with 9.5 and was an integral part of a defense that propelled Michigan to a 7-3 regular season record and a chance at history. He also tallied 32 tackles, 13 of which were for loss and a force fumble. He played in every game this season for the Panthers.

This is the second time a Michigan Panther won a DPOY award from a spring football league. Linebacker Frank Ginda won the award last season when the Panthers were part of the USFL.

The Panthers will take on the Stallions Saturday starting at 3 p.m. ET. The winner will go on to play in the inaugural UFL Championship Game.

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