Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

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MikeMitchell
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Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

Post by MikeMitchell » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:32 am

The XFL opened the door for potential college players to apply and participate at their first two showcases, but no one walked through it. At least, not in week one of these workouts. Despite the fact, that current college players can workout, not effect their eligibility and still go back to school, if they choose to. No college player received an invite from the league. It's possible that some college players applied, but they didn't receive invites over undrafted players or pro football free agents. The Dallas showcase had a hundred players in total. Houston ended up with ninety six.

More on that in a moment. The math was supposed to be approximately 100 players per showcase, with 5 of them potentially being current college players. I had a few current college players, that reached out to me about how to apply for a showcase. This after the XFL made public their showcase info, and their open door policy for current college players. I know that the XFL reached out to PFT, to give details about their showcases, but the league still has an awareness problem. From agents like Nicole Lynn, who represents Quinnen Williams, asking Twitter, who the contact was for the league. I have had at least a dozen agents reach out to me since mid May, asking how they can get their players invites. Sometimes, when you get a chance to peak behind the curtain, you are amazed with what you find. Even prominent college football writers, didn't know that current college players can apply.

The XFL still has some kinks to work out moving forward. There are certainly a lot of challenges, when it come to an upstart league. Just getting the entire operation running as a well oiled machine is not easy. The XFL has had a few hiccups in the last few weeks. The big picture still looks very promising, but the league has had some issues with the smaller details.

For example..... By now, most of you have seen the original Houston Showcase roster, that was handed to Stephan Rachuk from XFL2K.com. By the time, XFL Houston posted an official list of participants. There were some subtractions and additions. It didn't help matters that the only showcase roster that was posted by the league on any of their accounts, was hardly legible.

By my count, 6 players that were on the original list, were not on the official list of players. Some notable names too, Quarterbacks Brandon Silvers and Zach Mettenberger, NFL veteran DE Sam Montgomery and Birmingham Iron Linebacker Beniquez Brown. Two other players Tray Mitchell, S from Eastern Illinois and International Linebacker Maximo Sanchez were also on the original list. The latter two names may have had travel or injury issues. Not so sure, if that's the case with the other 4 players. There's no doubt in my mind that Silvers and company received invites. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been on any list. Whether or not, their participation has been delayed for other reasons, remains to be seen, but they obviously were originally slated for this, and ended up not participating. Luis Perez is another AAF QB, who should accept an invite, if he gets one, but some of these agents, don't know what they are doing.

Not every veteran that has been sent an invite, will accept it. That's the reality when it comes to the XFL. Especially when it comes to prideful premiere vets, who have a high value placed on themselves. Junior Galette received an invite from the XFL, through his agency, but he has no interest in showing up. He is pretty upset with his current standing. In 2018, Junior was a free agent in the NFL, he was offered a two year 10 million dollar deal to resign with Washington. Galette turned it down, a decision, he admitted that he regrets now. Galette's a very good player but unfortunately a year later, he is still currently a free agent. Galette is upset that no team has made him an offer and that he is still stranded on the open market. It was a good idea by the XFL, sending him an invite. It was worth a shot. I personally would also have done it. Here are some of Junior Galette's comments from last September.
My agent and I thought we could get a lot more money on the open market, which I basically regret right now,” Galette told Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan. “I should be in someone’s facility right now. It was clearly a bad call.”“They brought Pernell McPhee in, who’s a lot cheaper and probably, I guess, around – I wouldn’t say same type of player, but for the role that they need, I guess he could fit it,” Galette said. “They signed that and it basically was kind of me now waiting, thinking that I had the Rams. I thought we had a deal with them, but that never panned out, so here we are. I’m at home now, regretting that I just should have took the Redskins’ deal.
I think the Showcase talent moving forward will be interesting to watch. Especially with CFL players, who just got cut like QB Bryan Bennett, getting invites. I know only a handful of names for Friday's showcase, which I will be at. There's defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli. He was a 6th round pick by Seattle in 2015. He played alongside Khalil Mack in college. Freakishly strong. The young man has been jerked around since he turned pro. Seattle attempted to convert him to the offensive line. That didn't work out. A year after being drafted, Sokoli is cut. The Colts sign him and put him back to defensive end. He ends up on their practice squad for the entire season. A year later, he's cut again. The Saints pick him up, put him back on the offensive line. He lands on that practice squad, and ends up getting cut again. Rinse and repeat. The Giants sign him, put him back on the defensive line. He lands on their practice squad and then tears his ACL in the summer of 2018.

A few other names that I am aware of for Friday, Undrafted rookie center from Purdue, Kirk Barron. He's really good. Tight Ends, Adrien Robinson and Evan Rodriguez. Both were recently in the AAF. There's also WR Tyrell Goodman, who started out as a dual threat QB coming out of high school. Converted to wideout, and has been a star arena league player. He's a local kid from Yonkers. I think we will continue to get a wide variety of players moving forward in these showcases.

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Tank55
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Re: Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

Post by Tank55 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:10 am

MikeMitchell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:32 am
Even prominent college football writers, didn't know that current college players can apply.
Yeah, I'm sort of surprised it wasn't big news. It's more interesting and newsworthy than most of the XFL stuff that bubbles up and makes headlines. But the way news works today, everyone is copying everyone else. So once someone writes it, suddenly it's everywhere. The three-point conversion, for example, was public months before it hit the news cycle.

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Re: Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

Post by MikeMitchell » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:57 am

Tank55 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:10 am
MikeMitchell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:32 am
Even prominent college football writers, didn't know that current college players can apply.
Yeah, I'm sort of surprised it wasn't big news. It's more interesting and newsworthy than most of the XFL stuff that bubbles up and makes headlines. But the way news works today, everyone is copying everyone else. So once someone writes it, suddenly it's everywhere. The three-point conversion, for example, was public months before it hit the news cycle.
That’s a very good point. Two big issues, that the league has perception and awareness. When I was interviewed on Clemson radio. The XFL had just released info about college players applying for the showcases. I mentioned it immediately on the air. Not a blurb or a reaction to it. Despite the fact that that Clemson’s own star receiver Justyn Ross said that college players should consider the XFL.

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Re: Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

Post by GregParks » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:40 am

One of my takeaways from the first weekend as well was the lack of college players trying out. The more I thought about it though, the more leery I'm sure college players may be. They don't have agents to advise them and to be honest, this is uncharted territory for the last few generations of players at least (not sure how other leagues throughout history have dealt with this). How will colleges look at a guy trying out/making it in this league? How will the NFL? I still think there's a lot of unanswered questions about how this will work, especially from the athlete's POV and especially if the communication and public info has been as lacking as Mike suggested in his original post.

You may also have lesser-known players who may be interested rather than big-name future 1st round NFL draft picks who don't want to rock the boat; if they stay in college and keep working at their craft, they know they'll make the NFL. Sticking their neck out in a league like this and trying something new, there really doesn't seem to be an incentive for that right now. Obviously the money would be nice, but not as much as they'll eventually make in the NFL. It may take one big-name college player to take the leap and try it for others to follow suit. It may also be something for down the line, as the league builds credibility in the eyes of the college players and they truly see this as an alternative way to get on the NFL's radar.
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MikeMitchell
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Re: Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

Post by MikeMitchell » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:10 pm

GregParks wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:40 am
One of my takeaways from the first weekend as well was the lack of college players trying out. The more I thought about it though, the more leery I'm sure college players may be. They don't have agents to advise them and to be honest, this is uncharted territory for the last few generations of players at least (not sure how other leagues throughout history have dealt with this). How will colleges look at a guy trying out/making it in this league? How will the NFL? I still think there's a lot of unanswered questions about how this will work, especially from the athlete's POV and especially if the communication and public info has been as lacking as Mike suggested in his original post.

You may also have lesser-known players who may be interested rather than big-name future 1st round NFL draft picks who don't want to rock the boat; if they stay in college and keep working at their craft, they know they'll make the NFL. Sticking their neck out in a league like this and trying something new, there really doesn't seem to be an incentive for that right now. Obviously the money would be nice, but not as much as they'll eventually make in the NFL. It may take one big-name college player to take the leap and try it for others to follow suit. It may also be something for down the line, as the league builds credibility in the eyes of the college players and they truly see this as an alternative way to get on the NFL's radar.
All good points. There are players in the transfer portal that are going to be sitting out the 2019 college season. Like Georgia TE Luke Ford, who had his transfer request for 2019 denied for the NCAA season. Now he might be a different case because he wants to be close to his ill grandfather in Illinois. So not sure how he would feel about a draft where you can’t pick where you play.

The risk may be getting injured for current college players. I do believe that there is some confusion in this area. If I was a player transferring and positioned to sit out 2019. I would go workout, just for the experience alone.

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Re: Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

Post by GregParks » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:27 pm

Even though Ford has to "sit out" a year, as is my understanding, he can still practice with the team, attend meetings, etc. So he's only sitting out of games. I'm not sure that's enough for Ford or anyone who has to sit out a year after transferring to make the XFL an attractive option - especially when they'd still be enrolled and attending college while the XFL season is in progress (unless they graduate in December).
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Re: Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

Post by MikeMitchell » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:44 pm

GregParks wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:27 pm
Even though Ford has to "sit out" a year, as is my understanding, he can still practice with the team, attend meetings, etc. So he's only sitting out of games. I'm not sure that's enough for Ford or anyone who has to sit out a year after transferring to make the XFL an attractive option - especially when they'd still be enrolled and attending college while the XFL season is in progress (unless they graduate in December).
The thing of it is that Ford wants to leave Georgia and still be able to play this year. He just wants to play in a setting close to his ailing family member.

Excluding him from the conservation because his is a unique one. There are several NCAA players in the transfer portal right now, who are undecided. Some of the transfers, who have decided on new universities, have left big programs to play at lesser football schools like Richmond and others.

If I know that I am going to sit out 2019. I am going to apply and hope that the XFL extends the invite. Just for the experience of it. Especially if I am not a top tier player who has received extensive playing time.

I am guessing that a few college players applied to the XFL Showcase, but that they weren’t on the league’s radar. To a lesser extent. There is also logistics involved. We will see what happens with the next 6 showcases.

Just for the record. Here is a current list of transfer portal players. Those who have decided and those who have not.

https://247sports.com/Article/NCAA-tran ... 127866941/

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Re: Some random thoughts about the XFL's Summer Showcases

Post by GDAWG » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:48 pm

MikeMitchell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:44 pm
GregParks wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:27 pm
Even though Ford has to "sit out" a year, as is my understanding, he can still practice with the team, attend meetings, etc. So he's only sitting out of games. I'm not sure that's enough for Ford or anyone who has to sit out a year after transferring to make the XFL an attractive option - especially when they'd still be enrolled and attending college while the XFL season is in progress (unless they graduate in December).
The thing of it is that Ford wants to leave Georgia and still be able to play this year. He just wants to play in a setting close to his ailing family member.

Excluding him from the conservation because his is a unique one. There are several NCAA players in the transfer portal right now, who are undecided. Some of the transfers, who have decided on new universities, have left big programs to play at lesser football schools like Richmond and others.

If I know that I am going to sit out 2019. I am going to apply and hope that the XFL extends the invite. Just for the experience of it. Especially if I am not a top tier player who has received extensive playing time.

I am guessing that a few college players applied to the XFL Showcase, but that they weren’t on the league’s radar. To a lesser extent. There is also logistics involved. We will see what happens with the next 6 showcases.

Just for the record. Here is a current list of transfer portal players. Those who have decided and those who have not.

https://247sports.com/Article/NCAA-tran ... 127866941/
If it ever takes off, I could see the Pac Pro League attempting to convince players to leave the transfer window and play for that league.

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