The XFL drops eight snazzy balls just in time for Christmas shopping season

As Black Friday is only four days away, the XFL released their official game ball, and it comes in eight different varieties, each with the colors of their eight franchises.

There are eight different looks to match each team’s primary color scheme. The points of each ball are wrapped with ‘X’ marks in white and the team’s primary color. This design allows receivers to track the ball easily.

The balls feature an “X-Pebble” grip technology designed to help players control the ball with a feel that enables a tight spin on throws, and also allows ball carriers to enhance their ball security.

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The XFL spent the past year developing the game ball with football manufacturer Team Issue in Dallas. The first version was tested with players on the field during the XFL’s rules testing this past spring. Based on feedback from quarterbacks and receivers, adjustments were made and updated versions of the ball were tested over a 10-week period at each XFL Summer Showcase. Then, after additional feedback from players was received and hours of tape were watched and analyzed, final adjustments were made and the final ball production began in September.

The XFL game balls will start to see action on the field next month when XFL mini-camps open up across the league.

XFL Official Ball Details

  • Design and Production Partner: Team Issue (Dallas, Texas)
  • Size: Standard professional football size
  • Texture: Patent-pending “X-Pebble” exterior grip technology
  • Game Usage: In every XFL game, the team on offense will use the ball featuring their team’s custom look and color scheme.
  • Dimensions: Prolate spheroidLong circumference: 28 inches (+/- 1/8″)
    • Short circumference: 21 inches (+/- 1/8″)
    • Weight: 14 to 15 ounces
  • Colors: Traditional red leather – the ball will be brown on game day after pre-game leather conditioning
  • Retail Price: $125 plus shipping and handling
  • Unique Features:
    • “X-Tips”: painted Xs wrap both points of each football in white and the team’s primary color
    • X-Pebble technology grip: exterior grip technology (patent-pending) to enhance ball feel and ball security

 

For BattleHawks TE Connor Davis, hard work and perseverance will pay off

A graduate of Long Island’s Stony Brook University, tight end Connor Davis has been working hard to prove he belongs on a pro football roster. In October, he was drafted to the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL. Soon, he will attend the BattleHawks mini-camp, which will begin an important opportunity to make his case.

“It’s another opportunity to play football, and play football at a very high level, at a professional level, and make a living off it,” Connor said. “If you’re a guy in my situation, it’s not much more you can ask for if you still have an opportunity to make a living off of playing a sport and continue your career.”

Before the XFL opportunity came along, Connor attended a New York Giants Rookie Mini-Camp out of college. It never amounted to an NFL contract, but it still turned out to be a chance to gain experience and get a taste of the big league.

Connor looks at his NFL time as a learning experience. “It was a great opportunity to get there, compete, get in front of the coaches,” Connor explained. “You get in there, and you’re completely involved…. you’re with the coaches and the team, kind of twenty-four and seven.”

Soon afterward, Connor was courted by the AAF and then signed by the Birmingham Iron. Unfortunately, the AAF and the Iron folded in the latter stages of their inaugural season, leaving Connor without a football job. Despite the setback, Connor sees his time with the Iron as a positive experience, especially in the way it furthered his football career and the careers of many others.

Now he is headed for the XFL.

After attending an XFL Summer Showcase at Montclair State in New Jersey, Connor impressed XFL coaches and scouts with his athleticism and height. At an impressive height of 6 feet 8 inches, he stood out in the crowd. Soon afterward he was invited to the XFL draft, which lead to him being picked by the St. Louis BattleHawks.

Connor makes a great case that joining the BattleHawks will be good for his football career. Especially since he sees value in the league and the BattleHawks organization. “It (the XFL) was very well put together,” he said. “I think the coaching staff around St. Louis with coach Hayes and the staff beneath him is a great staff to work under and learn.”

Plus, an XFL opportunity will be a great chance to further his career. “It’s another opportunity to get more film, progress a career and hopefully get an opportunity to lead, which is the ultimate goal here,” Connor explained.

“Keep playing football, and you know, with good film and a good season to get an opportunity with an NFL team come next August,” Connor added.

In preparation for training camps, Connor has kept busy working out and perfecting his craft.

“I like to stay busy, that’s for sure,” he said. “I don’t like to take too much downtime, you know. I like to always be doing something to kind of work towards perfecting my craft. Whether it’s just working footwork, movement, or stretching, staying mobile. Just always trying to do something to get better.”

When asked where he was when he heard he was drafted to the BattleHawks, Conner explained that he was helping out as an assistant coach of his Fallston High School football team, and the entire team joined him in his celebration.

When asked if he was a role model for these young footballers, Connor gave a modest response, “I try to present myself in a way of what hard work can do. Just kind of keep your head down and keep working.”

Clearly, hard work and perseverance is the mantra of Connor Davis. We just know that this attitude will serve him well in his future pro football career.

The entire interview with Connor Davis may be found in XFL Xtra Episode 12-2019 – Opportunity

 

XFL Western Division Supplemental Draft Recap

The XFL is less than two weeks away from the start of team mini-camps. It’s been quite a journey for the league from January of 2018 to this point. Almost two years in the making with actual on-field football activities right around the corner. On Friday, the XFL took yet another step forward with the next phase of roster building for all eight teams. The XFL’s first Supplemental Draft is working as a complement to the 560 player draft that took place in October. Since then, Over 20 XFL players have signed on to NFL rosters, a clear sign of the quality players that were drafted into the league. A combination of the positioning of the calendar year during football season, and the ever-changing rosters in the NFL, has put the XFL in the unique position where a series of signings and drafts are needed to stabilize and strengthen the rosters heading into February. The first-year league is not done drafting or signing players, as evidenced by three new Quarterback signings that took place on Friday. The league figures to add more players heading into January’s league-wide training camp in Houston.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the players selected by the teams in the XFL’s Western Division.

 

LOS ANGELES WILDCATS

*QUARTERBACK ASSIGNMENT: JOSH JOHNSON- SAN DIEGO*

One of the ways to improve the quality of play for a team is by creating competition. That’s exactly what Los Angeles did for their quarterback position by signing Josh Johnson. The Wildcats first assigned Quarterback, Luis Perez, has been doing all the right things, working with his receivers and offensive coordinator Norm Chow, and even leaning on Hall of Famer Kurt Warner recently for guidance and on-field help. It’s a good thing that the former Harlon Hill Trophy winner and Division II National Champ has been doing these things, because if he is to be the team’s starter on opening day, Perez is going to have to fend off the challenge of Josh Johnson.

Very few quarterbacks have the type of resume that Josh Johnson has. Outside of maybe Josh McCown, it’s hard to think of another veteran pro quarterback, that is as well-traveled as Johnson. Josh Johnson was a major star on the FCS level over a decade ago at USD under Jim Harbaugh.  Johnson then entered the NFL back in 2008 as a 5th round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since then, Johnson has been on a total of 13 different NFL teams. He has also spent time in the United Football League for Sacramento back in 2012 and was the first overall pick by the San Diego Fleet in the AAF’s QB Draft a year ago. Johnson has always been a dependable and reliable backup with great mobility and a very good arm. It’s one of the reasons why he’s been on so many pro teams. Despite all this, Johnson has only started eight total games in his NFL career.  Last NFL season, when the Washington Redskins lost Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to injuries, the Skins were scrambling for any quarterbacks they could find to come off the street and play. One of the Quarterbacks who answered the casting call and made the team was Johnson. Josh came in off the street cold with little knowledge of his team’s playbook and did an excellent job under the circumstances. After all these years in the NFL, Johnson finally won his first NFL start last December. By seasons end, Johnson injured his ankle and it took time for him to recover and latch on to another NFL team.

During this past summer when the Baltimore Ravens lost RG3 to injury, they called Johnson. In a surprising move. Johnson turned the position down. With Lamar Jackson firmly in tow as the starter and RG3 returning shortly. At this stage of his career, Johnson wanted a better opportunity to make an NFL roster and to not just be a camp body. Johnson ended up making the Detroit Lions roster instead, and was backing up Matthew Stafford until Jeff Driskel was brought in to be Matthew’s backup. Johnson was released in mid-September by the Lions. Now, Josh Johnson is in a great spot with the Wildcats. He is back home in California, working with Norm Chow and the Wildcats have one of the better-receiving trios in KD Cannon, Rashad Ross, and Nelson Spruce. Luis Perez got some good experience finally starting earlier this year with the Birmingham Iron, but the pressure will be on him to hold off Josh Johnson for the starting job. LA could be Johnson’s first chance to become a full-time starter in his career.

WILDCATS SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT PLAYER SELECTION

The Los Angeles Wildcats selected 10 different players in this process. There are several names who stand out from this group and have a great chance to make the team’s active roster come February 8th when the Wildcats travel to play the Houston Roughnecks on Fox.

One of those players is WR Saeed Blacknall from Penn State. Nicknamed ‘Megatron Jr.”, Blacknall is 6’3 with 4.3 speed. The physical tools are elite for the former 4-star recruit. The production, however, hasn’t matched his massive upside. Current Wildcats Director of Player Personnel Joey Clinkscales was with the Oakland Raiders when Blacknall was signed as an undrafted free agent. Saeed would spend time on and off the Raiders active roster and practice squad in 2018. This past summer, Blacknall was released by the Miami Dolphins. Blacknall is joining a talented group of receivers in LA.

Another supremely gifted player in this group is former 2nd round pick Cornerback Jalen Collins. The issue with Collins has never been his physical gifts. The former Falcons and Colts DB is a tall rangy corner at 6’1 with 4.4 speed. Since his days at LSU, and into the NFL, Collins has carried with him off-field issues that have outweighed his immense talent. Since 2015, Collins has been suspended on four different occasions for performance-enhancing and substance abuse violations. Only 26, Collins has been given multiple opportunities because of his elite skills. He has been trying to revive his pro career in Indianapolis. Jalen was most recently on the Colts practice squad before being released on September 30th. The Wildcats DB Coach Otis Smith can be a great mentor for Collins if he’s willing to make the effort to get on the right path.

Temuchin “Bucky” Hodges is another elite athlete with tremendous physical tools. At 6’6, 257 pound, and possessing 4.5 40 speed, Hodges elite skill set saw him get drafted in the sixth round by the Vikings in 2017. Hodges was a 4-star recruit at Virginia Tech. Originally a dual-threat Quarterback who transformed himself into a pass-catching tight end. Since becoming a pro, things haven’t worked out for Hodges. He’s been on 3 different NFL teams and hasn’t been able to find a role or fit.

Veteran Nose Tackle Montori Hughes fits the bill as the type of inside presence that is sorely needed in what projects to be a 3-4 defense in LA. The massive Hughes is a former 5th round pick of the Indianapolis Colts. His weight has fluctuated throughout his career from 320 to 350 plus. Hughes has familiarity with Wildcats Defensive Coordinator Pepper Johnson, as Montori played for Pepper in Memphis for the Express earlier this year.

Another NFL veteran in this group is Linebacker Will Smith. He’s had a strange journey dating back to his college days. From Division II to Community College to becoming an All-Big 12 player at Texas Tech, and then being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. His path as a pro has been similar, since Smith has gone back and forth between the NFL and CFL. Smith is a better player than his career resume would indicate. Perhaps two former star linebackers in Winston Moss and Pepper Johnson can get the best out of him and finally create a permanent home.

Former Mississippi State and New York Jets defensive back Brandon Bryant has no shortage of physical talent. He is a 6’0 210 pound safety with blazing speed in the 4.2 to 4.3 range. Bryant left school early and then attempted to be drafted in the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft. After failing to be drafted, Bryant signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Bryant ended up on the Jets practice squad as a rookie, and was promoted to the active roster late in the 2018 NFL season. Bryant was waived/injured at cutdown day this summer, and was then placed on the team’s injured reserve list the next day. He was waived from injured reserve by the Jets with an injury settlement on September 10. This is a raw talent who really hasn’t scratched the surface yet as a player.

The Wildcats drafted two offensive linemen in Toa Lobendahn and Dwayne Wallace. USC offensive lineman Toa Lobendahn was an All-Pac 12 selection. He started 45 games in his career with the Trojans, at four different positions. The mammoth 330 pound Dwayne Wallace was one of the best lineman at the 2019 NFLPA game, a game that current XFL VP of Football, Doug Whaley has been the director of for the last two years. Wallace’s strength is his run blocking prowess. He signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent before being released this summer.

Sometimes teams dig deep to find diamonds in the rough, and LA did that with two longshots to make this roster in DE Austin Flynn (Long Beach)  and RB/KR Terrell Alex (Southern). Flynn is a raw small school talent, who played at what appears to be the potential Wildcats practice facilities during the 2020 season at Long Beach. Alex is a 6’0 215 pound back with good speed. Terrell Alex has had a unique path to get to this point, from Southern to Canada, to the Arena League, and all points in between.  Making this roster will be a challenge for both but just having this opportunity is a blessing.

 

SEATTLE DRAGONS

*QUARTERBACK ASSIGNMENT: CHASE LITTON- MARSHALL*

Perhaps the most interesting of the XFL’s quarterback assignments is in Seattle signing Chase Litton. The Dragons already have a crowded quarterback room with assigned Quarterback Brandon Silvers, and drafted QB’s Joe Callahan and BJ Daniels. From a pocket passer standpoint, it’s easy to be enamored with Chase Litton. The 6’5 plus 230-pound standout signal-caller from Marshall possesses a rocket sized arm and a beautiful throwing delivery. Litton made 34 starts for the Thundering Herd, completing 60.8% of his career passes with 7.0 yards per attempt and a 72:31 TD-to-INT ratio. Chase declared early for the NFL draft and ended up going undrafted in 2018. Many experts felt that he should have finished out his college career. Not doing so, put him in the developmental category in the NFL despite his great physical tools and college success. Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs took a two-year flyer on Litton. With Maholmes, Henne and Matt Moore in KC, Litton ran out of real estate with the Chiefs. The Jaguars signed Litton to their practice squad in September. When Nick Foles went down to injury, the Jags traded for Joshua Dobbs and saw the emergence of Gardner Minshew. Coupled with the recent return of Nick Foles,  Chase’s time with the Jags ended on October 21st, just days after the initial XFL draft was concluded. In the lead up to the XFL draft, each team gave the league office a list of priority Quarterbacks that they wanted to sign if they were to become available. Litton was not available to be signed when the first XFL Draft occurred. Seattle’s assignment leads me to believe that Chase was high on their priority list while he was still in Jacksonville. The competition for the Dragons starting quarterback position may go right down to the wire on opening day when the Dragons play at the DC Defenders on ABC. Litton has a shot to impress Jim Zorn and Mike Riley during mini-camp and training camp in the new year.

DRAGONS SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT PLAYER SELECTION

The Dragons had the smallest group of supplemental draftees in the league. It’s an indicator of a couple of things. The first being that the Dragons didn’t lose any draft picks to the NFL since October. The second is that the team is extremely content with their initial 71 player group.

Joining Seattle’s latest assigned quarterback is Chase Litton’s teammate at Marshall University, WR Tyre Brady. Like Chase Litton, Brady was also recently with the Jaguars. Tyre brings good size at 6’3 210 pounds. A go-to target for the Herd, Brady racked up 133 catches for nearly 2000 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2 seasons, after transferring from Miami.

Former All Big 10 Safety Godwin Igwebuike has spent time with 4 different  NFL teams in two years. Most recently being released by the Jets in August. When Godwin came out for the NFL Draft in 2018, he finished in the top 5 among safeties in 5 different combine drills. Despite this, he still went undrafted. Like many of the XFL’s players. Godwin has elite physical traits but hasn’t had the opportunity to shine as an active football player on game day.

Former Canes Defensive Tackle Anthony Moten is also a player who went undrafted last year. The 315-pound Moten, a former 4-star recruit never lived up to his promise at the U. He has spent time with the Miami Dolphins.

 

DALLAS RENEGADES

The Renegades were busy selecting 10 players in the supplemental draft. 5 of their draft picks in October have signed on with NFL teams, so there was a need to stock up.  Dallas went heavy on the defensive side with 7 of their picks concentrated on that side of the ball.

On the defensive Line, the Renegades drafted tackles  Deon Simon (Northwestern State) and Curtis Cothran (Penn State). Simon is a former 7th round pick, who spent his first three years in the NFL with the New York Jets. A 335-pound nose tackle who figures to back up Sealver Siliga.  Curtis Cothran is an undrafted free agent who has spent time with the Vikings. He’s undergone a transformation since leaving Penn State. Initially, an undersized  260-pound interior defender, Cothran is up to 280 pounds. In the Renegades scheme, he could be playing inside or outside. Having former Cowboys great Jim Jeffcoat as a teacher could help in Cothran’s development.

At linebacker, Tobenna Okeke was a late bloomer at Fresno State. The Nigerian edge rusher had 11 sacks in his senior season. He has spent time with the Titans and has played in the CFL since going undrafted. Dallas may have found a diamond in the rough with Okeke, and he could help compliment Hau’oli Kikaha on the edge as a pass-rushing option.

The Renegades added 4 players to their defensive backfield during the supplemental draft. At corner, they picked Josh Thornton and Jamal Peters. Thornton is a very fast corner. It’s his speed that has landed him with 5 different NFL team practice squads since going undrafted in 2017. Josh Thornton was most recently released by Carolina in September. Jamal Peters is a former college safety turned corner, a physical 6’2 DB who was signed by the Colts after going undrafted. The question is whether Dallas will move Peters back to safety or if they will start him at corner. It’s Peters 4.6 speed that led to him being undrafted.

Marwin Evans is a physical in the box safety who has played for both the Seahawks and Packers. Ryan Moeller is a high football IQ safety out of Colorado. Former San Diego Fleet GM and current Renegades Manager of Football Operations, Dave Boller has familiarity with Moeller. Ryan really emerged in the AAF with 4 interceptions and was developing into one of the league’s better safeties. Moeller finished his AAF run on a tear before the league folded. In his final AAF game, Moeller picked off two passes, recovered a fumble and recorded six tackles in an 8-3 loss to the Salt Lake Stallions.

Dallas bolstered it’s receiving corps with the additions of Jazz Ferguson and Floyd Allen. Ferguson is a beast. The undrafted Northwestern State product brings plenty of size (6’5″/227) and athleticism (4.45 forty) to the table. Jazz caught 7-of-12 targets for 119 yards and a touchdown for the Seahawks in the preseason. He was recently on the Seahawks practice squad. Jazz can give the Renegades a big target in the red zone. Floyd Allen is a talented slot receiver type who simply got lost in the shuffle at Ole Miss behind DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, and company.

Austin Walter played college football at Rice, where he rushed for 1,744 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry; he also had 79 receptions for 803 yards, and in his senior season, averaged 27.3 yards on 18 kickoff returns. The 5’8 speedster earned a contract with the 49ers after trying out for them as a rookie. The New York Giants signed Walter a month ago, only to release him when Saquan Barkley returned to the lineup from injury.

 

HOUSTON ROUGHNECKS

7 selections in total for Houston and only one of them was a wide receiver. Of course, no tight ends taken for June Jones “tight end free” run and shoot offense. The receiver that is joining the Roughnecks is Utah State’s Hunter Sharp. The 5’11 Sharp finished his college career in style with 137 catches and 16 touchdowns in his final two years. Sharp has been on five different NFL teams since going undrafted in 2016. If June Jones handpicks you to be on his team. It’s for a good reason. No one has had a better history of unearthing hidden gems at receiver than June Jones, dating back to his days with the Houston Gamblers in the USFL.

The Roughnecks offensive line was bolstered with the selections of Sebastian Tretola and Tejan Koroma. Tretola is a former 6th round pick of the Tennessee Titans. Once seen as a potential long term starter, Sebastian was an All-SEC player who was dominant in the run game. A nasty and physical player. Unfortunately, his NFL career was cut short in 2017, as Tretola was involved in an off-field incident shooting which ended with him being shot in the leg. This coupled with an earlier incident where he and teammate Tajae Sharpe were allegedly involved in a physical altercation with a fan, led to The Titans parting ways with Tretola. He has been out of the league ever since. Koroma is an undersized center from BYU, at only 6’0 and 290 pounds. He goes against the grain of the prototypical pro center, but Tejan had a stellar career at BYU. Koroma started in all 51 games played as a four-year starter. He was named to the Pro Football Focus All-America Second Team in 2017.

Veteran Defensive Tackle Gabe Wright brings good experience and leadership to Ted Cottrell’s defensive front in Houston. Wright is strong enough to play inside or outside in a 3-4 front. He’s very nimble for a man of his size. The former 4th round pick of the Detroit Lions could be one of the Roughnecks leaders on defense.

Latroy Lewis projects as an outside edge rusher in the Roughnecks defensive scheme. Since 2017, Lewis has been on 3 different NFL teams, spending time in that fringe area between the practice squad and being elevated to the active roster, something he has done the last two years with Houston and Tennessee in the NFL. Kind of a career no man’s land.

Alabama Junior Cornerback Saivion Smith made what many thought was a mistake declaring early for the 2019 NFL Draft.  Smith (6’1/199) spent just one season at Alabama after spending one season as a five-star recruit at LSU, then transferring to JUCO, then starting 12-of-15 games and logging three interceptions with a pick-six for last year’s Crimson Tide. Plus-sized with long arms (33 ¼”), Smith struggled in pre-draft athletic testing with a forty time in the 4.7s at Alabama’s Pro Day, and only a 33-inch vertical. The Jaguars signed Smith after he went undrafted, but he was released at final cut down day. Will the Roughnecks keep him at corner or move Smith to safety.

Finally, the Roughnecks added Kicker Sergio Castillo. The Texas-born kicker has made his bones kicking in Canada for the majority of his career.  Like Roughnecks Kicker/Punter Austin Rekhow, Castillo also has experience punting. In the CFL, Castillo averaged 44.4 yards per punt. As a kicker for several CFL teams, one of which was June Jones former Tiger-Cats team. Castillo has an 87 percent career kicking percentage with a long of 57 yards. In 2019 with BC, Castillo had his best season. Connecting on 91 percent of his kicks. He was 41 of 45. The Roughnecks have two quality specialists on their roster in their kicking and punting game.

 

XFL Xtra Episode 12-2019 – Opportunity – Connor Davis and Anthony Miller

First, we hear from XFL draft pick Connor Davis. Connor is a young talented tight end who attended Stony Brook University. After college he was invited to a New York Giants rookie camp, and later played for the Birmingham Iron of the AAF. Now he is working hard to prepare for an upcoming training camp with the St. Louis BattleHawks. Then we talk to Dallas Renegades XFLBoard.com team reporter Anthony Miller. We discuss the XFL supplemental draft, the quarterback situation and how the league is preparing itself for the upcoming season.

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XFL Eastern Division Supplemental Draft Recap

The XFL is less than two weeks away from the start of team mini-camps. It’s been quite a journey for the league from January of 2018 to this point. Almost two years in the making with actual on-field football activities right around the corner. On Friday, the XFL took yet another step forward with the next phase of roster building for all eight teams.  The XFL’s first Supplemental Draft is working as a complement to the 560 player draft that took place in October. Since then, Over 20 XFL players have signed on to NFL rosters, a clear sign of the type of players that were drafted into the league. A combination of the positioning of the calendar year during football season and the ever-changing rosters in the NFL has put the XFL in the unique position where a series of signings and drafts are needed to stabilize and strengthen the rosters heading into February. The first-year league is not done drafting or signing players, as evidenced by three new Quarterback signings that took place on Friday. The league figures to add more players heading into January’s league-wide training camp in Houston.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the players selected by the teams in the XFL’s Eastern Division.

 

ST. LOUIS BATTLEHAWKS

* QUARTERBACK ASSIGNMENT: TAYLOR HEINICKE- OLD DOMINION*

Despite signing Ole Miss Rookie Jordan Ta’amu and drafting Brogan Roback last month, the feeling was that St. Louis would be adding competition at this position at some point between now and training camp. That’s exactly what St. Louis did by signing former Old Dominion star and NFL Quarterback Taylor Heinicke. The 26-year-old former ODU graduate had a prolific college career, throwing for nearly 15,000 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes, and throwing for 132 touchdowns to only 39 interceptions in 4 years. The former FCS All-American and CAA Offensive Player of The Year was Mr. Everything in college. Heinicke was just as much of a threat running the ball, rushing for over 1,300 yards with 22 touchdowns accumulated on the ground.  Taylor Heinicke also punted for ODU during his time there. His strengths have always been his accuracy, mobility and his ability to throw with anticipation. Despite his stellar collegiate career, Heinicke went undrafted. A big reason for this is his lack of prototypical size. It’s not just his height at 6’1, it’s his smallish frame of being only 205 pounds. The concern, and it’s been founded thus far in his pro career, is his ability to hold up physically.  Since going undrafted, Heinicke has spent time with the Minnesota Vikings (2015-2017), New England Patriots (2017), Houston Texans (2017) and Carolina Panthers (2018-2019). Taylor Heinicke spent time on injured reserve at three of those stops in the NFL. His lone NFL start came last winter for the Carolina Panthers. In his start against the Atlanta Falcons, Heinicke went 33 for 53 for 274 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions. During the game, he suffered an elbow injury and was replaced at quarterback by Kyle Allen. A week later, Heinicke ended the season on IR. He would resign with Carolina this past March, only to be released at final cuts in late August. Heinicke has the skill set to run Doug Meacham’s Air Raid offense in St.Louis. Like Jordan Ta’amu, Heinicke is mobile and can bring a strong RPO element to the offense. His experience as a pro, despite being a limited one, gives Taylor an edge heading into camp. If he can stay healthy, Heinicke can finally get a chance to play and be the star he was in college.

SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFTEES

The BattleHawks were in the position of drafting 9 players because several of their initial draft picks are currently on NFL rosters.

Offensive Tackle Kevin Bowen is a former Division II star out of East Central. At 6’9 and 335 pounds, Bowen has been a career project in the NFL, spending three years in the NFL with the Redskins and Browns on off-season rosters. The physical tools have always been there but he has never received an extended opportunity to crack an NFL roster.

Defensive Tackle Will Clarke is a former 3rd round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals. Clarke is reuniting with Jon Hayes, after spending time together with him in Cincy from 2014-2016. BattleHawks Defensive Coordinator Jay Hayes coached Clarke back in Tampa as the Bucs defensive line coach. The stars are aligned perfectly. One of the BattleHawks strongest positions is at defensive tackle, and it just got stronger with this draft pick. Clarke has always been a solid rotational defensive lineman, who can play inside at tackle and at defensive end if need be.

The 26-year-old defensive back, Darius Hillary has been on five different NFL teams and two different AAF teams in his career. Hillary can play both corner and safety and is a good tackler. St. Louis drafted defensive backs with this same type of skill set last month, physical press corners who can tackle in the open field. Hillary goes along with the St. Louis defensive script.

Harold Jones-Quartey joins a talented and crowded safety position with the BattleHawks. Quartey is a former Division 2 college wide receiver who made the transition to defensive back and has been on five different NFL teams. He was most recently with the Chiefs and was released back in late August.

One of the most celebrated supplemental picks of this entire process is actually a punter in Marquette King. The most entertaining punter in football is future XFL field analyst Pat McAfee. King is pretty close in terms of personality. The 31-year-old former Fort Valley State punter has had a long and successful career starting 6 seasons in the NFL and is a former All-Pro. Despite his great physical traits for the former college receiver turned punter, King is best known for his on and off-field antics. He can rub some people the wrong way, but STL has a great pair of specialists in him and Elliott Fry.

With draft pick Center Jimmy Murray on the Jets practice squad. A potential opening was created for C/G Chandler Miller from Tulsa. Miller was an all ACC player and started a school-record 50 consecutive games. At Tulsa, Miller was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch list for the nation’s best center. A bit undersized at 6’2 297 pounds, Miller went undrafted and has spent time with the Atlanta Falcons on their practice squad. His size and mobility could be an attribute in the XFL’s up-tempo game.

The 6’1 331 lb Nose Tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu reunites with his former position coach Jay Hayes. Stevie is a former 7th round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The talent has always been there to be dominant for the former All Pac 12 monster, but injuries have held Tu’ikolovatu back in his first two years in the NFL, and he was recently cut by Tampa at cutdown day.

One of the more decorated veteran NFL players in the XFL’s supplemental draft process is Terrance Williams. The former Baylor standout led the nation in receiving yards, before being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Williams spent six years with the Cowboys from 2013-2018. Catching 232 balls and 20 touchdowns during that time frame. On February 18, 2019, the Cowboys declined the option on the final year of his contract, making Williams a free agent at the start of the new league year. Williams brings great experience and credibility to a talented BattleHawks receiving group.

Ethan Wolf is a 6’6 target out of Tennessee, who has spent time with the Titans, Packers, and Panthers. He’s bounced around NFL team rosters since going undrafted in 2018. At Tennessee, Wolf passed Jason Witten and finished third all-time in school history for receiving yards and second in catches by a tight end. If you are a young tight end, looking to develop, being on a team where longtime NFL tight end and position coach Jonathan Hayes presides is a good place to be.

 

TAMPA BAY VIPERS

Jawill Davis was a first-team All MEAC receiver/return specialist at Bethune Cookman. A big-play receiver with dynamic return skills, who has always been complimented for his savvy route running. Unfortunately for Davis, he hasn’t been able to stick in the pros and his dynamic skill set hasn’t surfaced in his time with the Giants, Packers and most recently in the CFL.

Offensive Lineman  Jerald Foster was a two-year team captain at Nebraska. Very strong, high character player with excellent technique, his issue is his lack of athleticism. Foster a UDFA, was recently released by the Redskins. Viper Offensive Line Coach Jonathan Himebauch has a strong history of getting the most out of his offensive lines. Himebauch was an excellent offensive lineman himself, and has the distinction of winning a World Bowl in NFL Europe, three Grey Cups as one of the greatest offensive lineman in the history of the CFL, and an XFL Championship with the LA Xtreme. During the offseason, Himebauch works with Nike at The Opening camps as lead Offensive Line Coach for elite high school football players across the country. So young players like Foster are in good hands with Himebauch.

Undrafted Texas Defensive Back PJ Locke III is an extremely high character player and very versatile. Locke can play nickel corner or safety and has the physicality to play in the box. He just missed the cut with the Steelers. Locke is the kind of player you want on your team.

One of the traits on the Vipers entire roster is their overall team size. WR Tanner McEvoy fits the bill perfectly at 6’6 and 230 pounds. Tanner played multiple positions in college including Quarterback. That could come into play for some of Trestman’s gadget plays in this offense, and with the XFL’s conversion and double pass rules. McEvoy has spent time with several NFL teams, but most notably with the Seattle Seahawks. A fan favorite who spent two years there as a rotational player at the bottom of the roster, McEvoy can also play Tight End if need be and could become a very useful role player in this offense.

Another quality pick and useful weapon for Tampa is Marcus Murphy. The diminutive former All-SEC player and 7th round pick of the Saints, has always shined in spot duty but has never received an expanded role in the NFL. With the Bills in 2018, once Murphy finally started seeing an expanded role on offense. His season ended abruptly due to injury. Murphy has elite return skills and can be a factor running and catching the ball out of the backfield.

 

NEW YORK GUARDIANS

The first area, New York needed to shore up after last month’s draft was their special teams. In Kicker Matthew McCrane and Punter Justin Vogel. The Guardians have two capable kicking specialists with NFL experience under their belt.

The other area of special teams that needed to be addressed was kick returner, with Quadree Henderson currently on the Steelers practice squad. The Guardians move in this department created a lot of headlines and provides the league with one of it’s best stories. New York selected WR/Returner Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi. Damon has one of the most unique journeys dating back to his days at tiny Phoenix College.  He’s known as the player “who lied his way” into the NFL. Sheehy was a 1st team All Junior College player.  After being out of football for two years,  Sheehy-Guiseppi received a tip from a former flag football teammate regarding the location of the Cleveland Browns spring practice, he decided to take his chances to try out for the team, despite not receiving an invitation. Sheehy-Guiseppi was only allowed at the workout by claiming to know Cleveland Browns Vice President of Player Personnel, Alonzo Highsmith, and he impressed Highsmith enough to be invited to another tryout for the Browns a week later.  Sheehy ended up signing with the Browns and then ended up starring with them in the preseason this past summer. It led to an amazing scene this past August when the entire Cleveland Browns team celebrated with Sheehy after he returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown. Sheehy’s story is a great one and he is the type of player that defies logic. It would be a hell of a story if he becomes a star player in the XFL.

Another notable player taken by the Guardians is former 4th round pick and Colts linebacker Antonio Morrison. The two-down thumper has always compensated for his lack of premiere athletic ability with his nose for the football, solid tackling, and instincts. Morrison is in the right place in New York with Jim Herrmann coordinating the defense.

New York drafted two tight ends in Keenen Brown and Garrett Hudson. Two similar players, both small school players who play like wide receivers in a tight end’s body. Hudson was All CAA first team at Richmond. Brown led all tight ends in the Sun Belt in receiving at Texas State.

The Guardians added some reinforcements to their secondary. Drafting Cornerback Bryce Jones and Safety AJ Hendy. Jones is a former high school quarterback, who transitioned to defensive back. He ended up transferring from BC to Akron. Jones is a physical 6-foot press corner who went undrafted and has spent time with the Houston Texans. AJ Hendy is a rangy safety out of Maryland, who has been on the Dolphins, Chargers, and Texans practice squads since turning pro.

Offensive Tackle Brian Wallace has some upside.  The 6’5, 320-lb offensive tackle was excellent in pass protection for the University of Arkansas, allowing only three sacks in 411 passing snaps throughout his senior year. The former Razorback also totaled a career-high of 807 snaps during that same year.

 

dc-defenders-supplemental-draft

DC DEFENDERS

DC drafted 13 players in total, tops in the league. The Defenders needed this supplemental draft. As a result of them drafting so well last month. Three of their first-round picks last month ended up on NFL rosters. Pass Rusher James Vaughters, who was taken 1st in the defensive front seven phase, has signed on and off the Chicago Bears active and practice squad roster. Receiver Rashard Davis, who was taken first overall in the skill position draft has signed on with the Tennessee Titans, and the Defenders first pick in the offensive lineman phase, Kyle Murphy has since signed with the Houston Texans. Three players who figured to be front line starters for the team. Vaughters, Davis, and Murphy could make their way back to the Defenders roster in the future, but for now, DC has to operate as if they are not.

The first step in potentially replacing Vaughters is the drafting of Edge Defender Jesse Aniebonam. The undersized pass rusher out of Maryland was a 4-star recruit, who had interest from universities from Alabama. Jesse had a solid college career but never lived up to his hype, partially due to injuries and a broken ankle he suffered while at Maryland. Aniebonam went undrafted and signed as a UDFA this past summer with Houston. As a pro, he doesn’t seem to have a set position. Scouts were unsure of his ability to play end in the 4-3, or to stand up and cover ground as an outside linebacker. However, the talent is there as Aniebonam led the Terps with 14 TFLs and nine sacks in 2016, adding 46 tackles. If he can stay healthy, he can provide a boost to the Defenders pass rush.

At Wide Receiver and Kick Returner, FCS superstar Rashard Davis brought an electrifying skillset to DC and could have been one of Cardale Jones favorite weapons in Pep Hamilton’s offense. Cardale may have found his #1 target in former Steelers WR Eli Rogers. One of the better draft picks in this process, Rogers brings 4 years of NFL experience and is still young at only 26 years old. Undrafted out of Louisville, Eli made his way into the NFL by showcasing his superb hands and route-running ability. He can play in the slot and is instantly the most reliable weapon in the DC offensive.

On the offensive line, DC selected three different players. Offensive Tackles Malcolm Bunche, and A.T. Hall, and at Guard Dorian Johnson. Bunche is a young journeyman offensive lineman who has been on several different NFL rosters, including stints in the CFL and the AAF. He was most recently on the Redskins practice squad in October, before being released. He has the skill set to be a blindside protector in this offense. It wouldn’t be a Pep Hamilton team without a Stanford player on it. A.T. Hall is a 3-year starter who was All Pac 12 mention during his time there. He can play RT and LT, so he has swingman capabilities on the line. Dorian Johnson is an excellent athlete for his size. His physical profile got him drafted in the 4th round in 2017 by the Arizona Cardinals. Dorian Johnson was a 4-star recruit, rated behind only Laremy Tunsil as the top offensive tackle coming out of high school. Several colleges went after him, but he chose to stay at his hometown of Pittsburgh. Despite being a first-team All American in college, it hasn’t gone as planned for Dorian in the NFL. He’s had injury issues and has been with 3 different NFL teams since 2017. Bouncing on and off the rosters of the Cards, Texans and most recently the Panthers in August. Johnson could end up being one of the XFL’s best offensive lineman if he can stay healthy.

WR Malachi Dupre was a five-star recruit coming out of Louisiana. He landed at LSU and made an impact and was developing going into his senior season. Dupre decided to declare early and his talents got him drafted in the 7th round by the Green Bay Packers in 2017. Many felt that Dupre came out too soon and wasn’t a finished product yet. Since that time, the 6’2 Dupre has been on six different NFL teams in three years: Packers, Bills, Texans, Seahawks, Cardinals and most recently with the Chargers. Only 24, Dupre still has an upside. He just hasn’t been able to break through and be a starter on the pro level.

WR Tyler Palka is a small school quarterback turned receiver from Gannon University. He’s had the proverbial cup of coffee in the NFL with the Steelers, and has spent time in the Arena League and CFL. Palka is not going to blow you away with his physical ability but he has strong hands and is a good route runner. He’s always been the ultimate longshot.

TE Donnie Ernsberger is a versatile player who can play fullback as well. Known for his blocking prowess, Donnie has spent time on the Bucs and Jaguars roster since 2018. DC’s dynamic two-headed backfield of Donnel Pumphrey and Jhurell Pressley could benefit from Ernsberger leading the path.

On the interior of the defensive line, the Defenders selected former Giants 3rd round pick Jay Bromley and West Virginia’s Kenny Bigelow. Bromley spent 4 years with the New York Giants as a reserve lineman. The 314-pound run-stuffer has seen plenty of game time, but has not been despite a front line starter in the NFL. He was most recently cut by the Niners in late August. Undrafted rookie Kenny Bigelow has had a lot of adversity. He was originally at USC and he blew out his knee twice. He almost retired, received a 6th year of eligibility, and then transferred to WVU. He played nose tackle for WVU, but despite being all Big 12 second team, Bigelow did not receive an invite to the combine or senior bowl. He showed well at his pro day benching 31 reps and running a 5.09 in the 40. Bigelow went undrafted but was signed by the Saints this summer, only to be released with an injury settlement after tearing his biceps. Just another block in the road on his journey. The Defenders might have found a gem if Bigelow can have some lady luck on his side.

Defensive Back Kamrin Moore is a former 6th round pick in 2018 by the New Orleans Saints. He was a 3-year starter at cornerback for Boston College. Moore is a talented player who can play safety and corner but he has had injury issues, and more importantly off the field issues. He was suspended by the Giants in July for an alleged domestic violence incident. Moore was placed on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list until his charges were cleared. The Giants ended up releasing him at cut down day. On October 29th, Moore was cleared of all charges by a grand jury.

North Dakota’s 6’3 corner Deion Harris has had plenty of adversity of his own. Following a breakout year in 2016, Harris recorded five interceptions, returned three for TDs, with 36 tackles, nine pass breakups, and led UND to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs for the first time in program history. Harris was named to ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s list of top senior corners entering 2017, but a devastating injury forced him to miss the entire campaign. Upon Harris’ return in 2018, the redshirt senior finished with 27 tackles, four TFLs, seven pass breakups, a blocked field goal, and an interception to help the Fighting Hawks finish just outside the playoffs. Over his career at UND, Harris was named second-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association and Associated Press, and third team by Hero Sports Network, first-team All-Big Sky, and the ROOT SPORTS Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week on a pair of occasions. The small school stud went undrafted and signed with the Washington Redskins before being released at cut down day.

Rounding out this group of draftees is Linebacker Kerron Johnson. He’s an undersized speed backer/safety hybrid from Coastal Carolina, who could provide value in coverage and on special teams. He went undrafted last year and spent some time in the AAF.

New York Guardians select nine players during the XFL Supplemental Draft

Mahwah, NJ., November 22, 2019 – During the XFL supplemental draft, the New York Guardians selected a total of nine players who will have the opportunity to join the team at Mini Camp beginning on December 3. The players selected in today’s draft join the Guardians’ pool of drafted players from the XFL Draft held on October 15-16.

With the 6th pick in the 1st round of the XFL supplemental draft, the New York Guardians selected Antonio Morrison, a linebacker from the University of Florida. The 6’1 240-lb linebacker was selected in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts and went on to spend three years in the NFL with the Colts and Packers.

In the 2nd round, the New York Guardians selected Justin Vogel, a punter from the University of Miami. The Florida native appeared in 16 games for the Green Bay Packers in 2017, averaging more than 44 yards per punt.

Brian Wallace was selected by the Guardians with the 6th pick in the 3rd round of the supplemental draft.  The 6’5, 320-lb offensive tackle was excellent in protection for the University of Arkansas allowing only three sacks in 411 passing snaps throughout his senior year. The former Razorback also totaled a career-high of 807 snaps during that same year.

With the 3rd pick of the 4th round, the Guardians selected former Akron cornerback, Bryce Jones. Jones transferred from Boston College and went on to lead the team in passes defended (9), while also amassing 50 total tackles in 12 games during his senior year. At 6’0, 180-lbs, Jones produced more than 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns as a quarterback at Cleveland Heights High School.

A.J. Hendy, a defensive back from the University of Maryland was selected by the Guardians with the 5th pick of the 5th round. At 6’1 and 201-lbs, Hendy has appeared in 16 preseason NFL games since 2016, compiling 38 tackles and one interception. In four years at Maryland, Hendy produced 142 total tackles with a career-high of 76 during his senior season.

In the 6th round, Garrett Hudson was selected by the Guardians with the 3rd pick. The first of two tight ends selected by the Guardians was named to the First-Team All-CAA during his senior year at Richmond. The 6’4, 240-lb tight end compiled more than 1000 yards on 65 catches to go with nine touchdowns during his three-year college career.

The second tight end taken by the Guardians was 6’3, 250-lb Keenan Brown out of Texas State. The 4th pick of the 7th round was named a First-Team All American by Pro Football Focus despite coming out of high school as a wide receiver. Brown led the Sun Belt conference with 51 catches and 577 yards from the tight end position.

With the 3rd pick in the 8th round, Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi was selected by the New York Guardians. Sheehy-Guiseppi made a name for himself with an 86 yard punt return for the Cleveland Browns in preseason action. Sheehy-Guiseppi was named first-team NJCAA All-American in 2016 after compiling 1,278 kick return yards and four touchdowns.

A positional need was filled with the Guardians 9th and final pick of the 2019 supplemental draft. Kicker, Matthew McCrane has appeared in four games in the NFL with the Raiders, Cardinals and Steelers with a career-long kick of 47 yards. McCrane ranked 2nd in the Big12 with 21 field goals made in 2017 and led the NCAA in 2014 with a 94.7 field goal percentage.

For a full list of all New York Guardians previous selections, please visit this Roster page.

The New York Guardians will play their first game at home at MetLife Stadium on February 9, 2020 at 2pm ET. The New York Guardians will play all five home games at MetLife Stadium. Lower level season tickets start at $25 per game and season ticket packages range from $125 to $575 per seat.

Fans can visit XFLGuardians.com to learn more about Guardians tickets, see all prices and benefits, and sign up for special information and content.

The following chart lists of all players selected during the supplemental draft:

Supplemental Draft

Round

Pick

Name

Position

School

1

6

Antonio Morrison

LB

Florida

2

3

Justin Vogel

P

Miami (FL)

3

6

Brian Wallace

OT

Arkansas

4

3

Bryce Jones

CB

Akron

5

5

A.J. Hendy

S

Maryland

6

3

Garrett Hudson

TE

Richmond

7

4

Keenen Brown

TE

Texas State

8

3

Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi

WR

Phoenix CC

9

3

Matthew McCrane

K

Kansas State

 

XFL Supplemental Draft Picks – 22 Nov 2019

The XFL supplemental draft was held on Friday 22 November 2019. The draft used a snake format and consisted of ten minutes per round, one minute per pick, with a three minute break between rounds.

Teams were allowed to pick enough players to sufficiently “top up” their rosters for the upcoming mini-camps.  According to Coach Hayes of the St. Louis BattleHawks the rosters are very “fluid” right now.

It is rumored that there will be another Supplemental Draft in January.

Here are today’s picks:

DALLAS RENEGADES

FIRST LAST POSITION COLLEGE
Floyd Allen WR Mississippi
Curtis Cothran DT Penn State
Marwin Evans SAF Utah State
Jazz Ferguson WR Northwestern State
Ryan Moeller SAF Colorado
Tobenna Okeke LB Fresno State
Jamal Peters CB Mississippi State
Deon Simon DT Northwestern State
Josh Thornton CB Southern Utah
Austin Walter RB Ric

DC DEFENDERS

FIRST LAST POSITION COLLEGE
Jesse Aniebonam DE Maryland
Kenny Bigelow DT West Virginia
Jay Bromley DT Syracuse
Malcolm Bunche OT UCLA
Malachi Dupre WR Louisiana State
Donnie Ernsberger TE Western Michigan
A.T. Hall OT Stanford
Deion Harris CB North Dakota
Dorian Johnson OG Pittsburgh
Kerron Johnson LB Coastal Carolina
Kamrin Moore CB Boston College
Tyler Palka WR Gannon
Eli Rogers WR Louisville

HOUSTON ROUGHNECKS

FIRST LAST POSITION COLLEGE
Sergio Castillo K West Texas A&M
Tejan Koroma OC Brigham Young
LaTroy Lewis LB Tennessee
Hunter Sharp WR Utah State
Saivion Smith CB Alabama
Sebastian Tretola OG Arkansas
Gabe Wright DT Auburn

LOS ANGELES WILDCATS

FIRST LAST POSITION COLLEGE
Terrell Alex RB Texas Southern
Saeed Blacknall WR Penn State
Brandon Bryant SAF Mississippi State
Jalen Collins CB Louisiana State
Austin Flynn DE Long Beach City
Bucky Hodges TE Virginia Tech
Montori Hughes DT Tennessee-Martin
Toa Lobendahn OG Southern California
Will Smith LB Texas Tech
Dwayne Wallace OT Kansas

NEW YORK GUARDIANS

FIRST LAST POSITION COLLEGE
Keenen Brown TE Texas State
AJ Hendy SAF Maryland
Garrett Hudson TE Richmond
Bryce Jones CB Akron
Matthew McCrane K Kansas State
Antonio Morrison LB Florida
Damon Sheehy WR Phoenix
Justin Vogel P Miami (FL)
Brian Wallace OT Arkansas

ST. LOUIS BATTLEHAWKS

FIRST LAST POSITION COLLEGE
Kevin Bowen OT East Central (OK)
Will Clarke DT West Virginia
Darius Hillary SAF Wisconsin
Harold Jones-Quartey SAF Findlay
Marquette King P Fort Valley State
Chandler Miller OG Tulsa
Stevie Tu’ikolovatu DT Southern California
Terrance Williams WR Baylor
Ethan Wolf TE Tennessee

SEATTLE DRAGONS

FIRST LAST POSITION COLLEGE
Tyre Brady WR Marshall
Godwin Igwebuike SAF Northwestern
Anthony Moten DT Miami (FL)

TAMPA BAY VIPERS

FIRST LAST POSITION COLLEGE
Jawill Davis WR Bethune-Cookman
Jerald Foster OT Nebraska
PJ Locke III SAF Texas
Tanner McEvoy WR Wisconsin
Marcus Murphy RB Missouri

The St. Louis BattleHawks have added quarterback Taylor Heinicke to their roster ahead of today’s XFL Supplemental Draft

News from the St. Louis BattleHawks

“It’s important for every team to have three good quarterbacks,” BattleHawks Head Coach and General Manager Jonathan Hayes said.  “As I mentioned previously, we were going to add at least one more quarterback at some point, whether it was through the draft or signing someone. In this case, we’re very excited the league has assigned us Taylor.”

An All-American and Walter Payton Award winner, Heinicke passed for nearly 15,000 yards while at Old Dominion and ranked third all-time in FBS history in total offense, fourth in FBS with 132 touchdown passes and sixth in passing yards.

The 26-year old Heinicke joins quarterbacks Jordan Ta’amu and Brogan Roback on the BattleHawks. Ta’amu was also signed by the XFL and assigned to St. Louis and the team drafted Roback in October.

“Like Jordan, Taylor is someone that we scouted and expressed our interest in to the league,” Hayes said. “His skill set fits nicely with the type of offense we plan to run. And it never hurts to add someone who has additional pro experience. All three quarterbacks will have the chance to show what they can do.  And from a work standpoint, it will be beneficial to have three arms to handle all the throws that are going to be made in camp.”

Undrafted in 2015, Heinicke spent time with the Minnesota Vikings (2015-2017), New England Patriots (2017), Houston, Texans (2017) and the Carolina Panthers (2018-2019).

St. Louis will also participate in the XFL Supplemental Draft, which begins today at 11am CT. The BattleHawks will pick eighth in the draft, which will use a snake format and consist of ten minutes per round, one minute per pick, and have a three minute break between rounds. Picks will be shared at XFL.com at the conclusion of the draft.

XFL Signs Three More Quarterbacks

Stamford, Conn., November 22, 2019 – Today the XFL announced additional quarterback assignments for three of the league’s eight teams:

• LOS ANGELES WILDCATS: Josh Johnson
• ST. LOUIS BATTLEHAWKS: Taylor Heinicke
• SEATTLE DRAGONS: Chase Litton

“Our coaches and scouts are continuing to identify the very best talent available to the XFL and our teams, which elevates the level of competition,” said XFL Commissioner and CEO, Oliver Luck. “We are excited to welcome these three talented quarterbacks to our league and look forward to mini-camp when our teams get on the field and competition begins.”

PLAYER BIOS:

Josh Johnson, LOS ANGELES WILDCATS:
A veteran QB with 11 years of NFL experience, Johnson has played in 33 games with eight starts and compiled a 55% completion percentage with 1,632 yards and 8 TDs. The Oakland, CA native spent 2019 with the Detroit Lions and 2018 with the Washington Redskins, where he threw for 590 yards and three touchdowns in three starts. An All-American and Walter Payton Award Finalist at the University of San Diego, Johnson was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Taylor Heinicke, ST. LOUIS BATTLEHAWKS:
Heinicke played four years at QB for Old Dominion University (2011-2014), and finished his career ranked third all-time in FBS history in total offense, fourth in FBS with 132 touchdown passes and sixth in passing yards. In 2012, he earned the Walter Payton Award (FCS) and was First-Team All-America. Undrafted in 2015, Heinicke spent time with the Minnesota Vikings (2015-2017), New England Patriots (2017), Houston Texans (2017) and the Carolina Panthers (2018-2019).

Chase Litton, SEATTLE DRAGONS:
Litton finished his college career at Marshall University ranked fifth in school history in career passing yards (8,332), fourth in career passing touchdowns (72), and completions (727). The Florida native is the second QB at Marshall to complete 60% of passes in three consecutive seasons. After his final season (2017) where he set single-season highs in completions (266), passing yards (3,115), and passing touchdowns (25), Litton declared for the NFL Draft and was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. He spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs (practice squad) in 2018 and the Jacksonville Jaguars (practice squad) in 2019.

XFL Supplemental Draft Spotlight: Meet Defensive Back Foster Reznor

Foster Reznor

The XFL supplemental draft is only 2 days away, XFL Training Camp is 45 days away, and the XFL will kickoff its first season 80 days from now!

We are halfway there and everything is beginning to feel so surreal.

Players who have been drafted, and who will participate in the supplemental draft have been preparing for the upcoming season and you can feel the enthusiasm.

Like Foster Reznor,  5’11 185 lb defensive back out of Gannon University, who plays with so much energy and enthusiasm. From watching his film I know he plans to bring that aspect of his game to the XFL.

Since he was a child, he has dreamt of the opportunity to play football professionally. “I have always had the dream of playing football at the highest level since I was young kid,” said Reznor. “Growing up I fell in love with the game and dedicated a lot of time to it.”

Reznor had a stellar high school career splitting time at running back and defensive back racking up the accolades. He received all-state honors as an offensive specialist, and was a three time all region first team selection as a running back and defensive back. He accumulated 4,804 all purpose yards and 54 touchdowns on offense along with 128 tackles and 11 interceptions on defense.

Reznor said he liked to play running back and wide receiver but instead of receiving the contact, he wanted to administer the contact. “Growing up, I was always a running back or wide receiver, but I always enjoyed contact,” said Reznor.

“My coaches put me at corner in high school and it was over from there. I loved following the other team’s best receiver and competing.”

He may have been really good at running back and wide receiver, but defensive back is his true calling.

During his collegiate career at Gannon, Reznor compiled 160 tackles, 24 pass break-ups, 3 interceptions, 4 tackles for loss, forced 1 fumble, recovered a fumble, and received NCAA Division II ADA Academic Achievement Award.

Reznor mentioned Tyrann Mathieu and Mike Hilton as who he models his game after. “Both players have the innate ability to create turnovers, make tackles in open space, and are very good at disguising coverages, which are all attributes you need to have to be an elite defensive back,” said Reznor. “Both guys are very similar to me in size and always find ways to be around the football.”

Another skill-set he would like to bring to a team is his fiery competitiveness. “I am a player that hates to lose more than he likes to win,” said Reznor. “I like to pay attention to the details, paying attention to the details is what separates good players from the great ones.” This reigns true as well all know football is a game of inches and paying attention to details can certainly provide your team with an advantage.

Along with being a very competitive player, his “team first” mindset is something he believes will separate him from the other XFL hopefuls. “I love seeing my teammates succeed. I am somebody that tries to bring the best out in everyone, whether that is on the football field or outside of football.”

Competitiveness and continuity within a locker room can certainly help mold the identity of a football team.

At first, Reznor admits he wasn’t sure if his dream was realistic, but following his senior season at Gannon Reznor received an opportunity to showcase his skills.

“I was unsure of how realistic it could be, but during my collegiate career I realized that it was more than possible. After my senior year I participated in multiple pro-days where I tested well and received a lot of recognition,” Reznor said “It was really cool seeing how well I tested in comparison to other athletes that were being considered in the NFL Draft.”

Reznor believes the XFL is an opportunity of a lifetime, and had a similar response to many of the players who have either been drafted or expect to be drafted this upcoming Friday.

“The XFL is a league that is going to be successful,” said Reznor. “They have some of the top coaches and players in the country that are a part of this league. This an opportunity to compete with some of the best athletes in the country.”

Reznor doesn’t have an ideal landing spot but wants all eight XFL teams to know one thing. “Which ever team takes a chance on me is a place where I want to be. The team that selects me is going to get the best version of me. I’m going to do the right things on and off the football field and I will be a player that competes every day and will not take the opportunity for granted.”

Reznor in my opinion can bring several attributes to your football team, but what I like most about Foster are the intangibles he provides. Not only is he talented but he also has a leadership mentality and would run through a wall for his team no matter the cost.

That is the type of player the XFL wanted, and that is the type of player Foster Reznor continues to be.

I would like to wish Foster the best of luck on Friday and I look forward to seeing you bring tenacity and enthusiasm to which ever team decides to select you in the XFL Supplemental Draft.

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