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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XFL Supplemental Draft Spotlight- Meet Tight End Kalias Robertson

Kalias Robertson

The XFL supplemental draft is less than three days away and prospects are being invited daily. With announcements about mini camp, training camp, and uniforms on the way, the true focus should remain on the talent the XFL has been able to acquire.

One of those talented players is 6-4 187 lb tight end Kalias Robertson who made a name for himself at Alabama A&M as a pass catching tight end who has the ability to separate and generate yards after the catch.  Robertson is very excited about this opportunity of continuing his career and becoming an effective asset for whichever team calls his name this upcoming Friday.

“The most exciting part about having the opportunity to suit up and play for the XFL is being apart of a new league and getting another chance,” Robertson said. “My family will be able to attend more games, and I’ll have another chance chasing my dreams.”

At an early age Robertson was all about putting in the hard work to achieve his dream of playing football professionally. “During high school I put in a tremendous amount of work which led me to have multiple scholarships to play college football. I knew I wanted to take my game to a different level.”

Robertson mentions his grandfather’s daily motivation as a tool he has used to make it thus far in his young career. “My grandfather motivated me almost everyday letting me know constantly that I could do anything I put my mind to.”

Well it seems his grandfather’s motivation worked. Robertson is now on the brink of bringing his childhood dream to fruition, and he believes the XFL is the best chance to showcase his talent. He also believes the XFL will be a spring football league that will work. “I really believe in the XFL. There are professionals behind the scenes to make sure everything is being done correctly for future success.”

“I chose the XFL because I think this league is about promise and chance. They have great coaches and executives in place to make sure the players and talent in this league succeed.”

That is definitely saying a lot, since the XFL has placed several people with football acumen and a track record of success at the helm of the league. Most notably Oliver Luck who once was the Athletic Director for the University of West Virginia, and Bob Stoops, former head coach on at the University of Oklahoma who assumed the head coaching and general manager position for the Dallas Renegades as the league bega

Robertson believes his unique skill set will fit best in the Air Raid, but ultimately would like to end up in the right situation where most of his skills will stand out.

“I would love to play in an Air Raid styled offense because I am a pass-catching tight end. But, I am hoping to end up where God puts me,” Robertson said. “I am a very hard worker and I will do anything to make sure my job is done.”

That is exactly what the new XFL is all about. Hard work and showcasing yourself on the gridiron.

When asked which team he wanted to draft him, Robertson responded with great humility, “I wouldn’t mind ending up in LA with the Wildcats. Seattle and Dallas would be nice as well, but I would be grateful to be apart of any team that takes a chance on me.”

An ideal response from a class act player. Whoever selects Robertson will definitely have a special player on their hands.

Selfishly, I am hoping he is selected by the Dallas Renegades as I think he will be a great addition to the current roster in place and has the work ethic that could be contagious to others in the locker room.

How will the Dallas Renegades win the battle? In the trenches…

It’s a wrap for phase two of the XFL draft and the Renegades roster is beginning to take shape.

In phase one, the Renegades main focus was clear. Speed is what they wanted and speed is what they got. In phase two,  the clear message Stoops and the Renegades are sending is that this team will be fast and  physical.

Where there is thunder, there is lightening.

The line of scrimmage is the “velvet rope” in VIP, the offensive line plays the role of the bouncer, and you will not get past the rope if your name is not on the list. Once you get your quarterback, and the offense is laced with several play makers, you add the muscle. The average weight of the offensive lineman selected in phase two is 312 lbs. Their combined weight is 3,126 lbs. That’s a lot of muscle.

Willie Beavers, offensive tackle from Western Michigan, headlined the first round of phase two. Beavers during his time at Western Michigan was named to the All MAC team twice and helped his running back win all conference honors as well.

Pace Murphy, offensive tackle from Northwestern State University, was the second round pick for the Renegades in phase two. Murphy was also a standout at Northwestern State earning Preseason All American honors and Pre-Season All-Southland Conference honors.

Beavers and Murphy will be the bookend couple at the tackle position that will put a bubble of protection around Landry Jones.

The heartbeat of the running game will consist of Maurquice Shakir (Midd Tenn State), Alex Balducci (Oregon) , and Josh Allen (Louisiana Monroe).

Shakir as a senior played more than 90 snaps in four games, and was an integral part of an offense that produced a 1,000 yard rusher.

Balducci, an converted defensive lineman turned guard will bring the same tenacity he did in the collegiate ranks, after earning All-Pac 12 honors for his efforts on the defensive line for his senior season.

Allen, product of Cedar Hill high school 20 minutes South of Dallas, earned All-Sun Belt honors during his junior season at Louisiana Monroe. He was apart of an offense that produce more than 500 total yards of offense in four of the first five games of the 2012-2013 season.

This offensive line is stacked with big bodies and bullies in the trenches on the offensive side.

In Phase three of the draft, let’s see what type of “war-daddies” Stoops can add to this very promising roster.

#RaisingHell Go Renegades!

Renegades #RaisingHell in XFL Draft Phase One

Phase 1 of the XFL draft is in the books and the Renegades made the most out of their selections.

The Renegades constructed an offensive coaching staff based around the ideal concepts of the Air Raid offense by hiring Bob Stoops and naming Hal Mumme the offensive coordinator. Now they have the on-field personnel to boot.

The Renegades will have a loaded running backs room with selections of running backs Cameron Artis-Payne, Dimitri Flowers and Lance Dunbar. All three running backs possess the ability to catch the ball, avoid tackles in open space, and breakaway speed.

With the selections of wide receivers Jeff Badet, return specialist TommyLee Lewis, Kelvin McKnight, and Stacy Coley, the Renegades will not lack in the yards after catch department.

The Renegades also doubled up on tight ends by selecting Sean Price and Donald Parham.

With Landry Jones at helm as the franchise quarterback, I am sure Stoops and his coaching staff are thrilled to see what this core can bring to their football club once training camp opens.

The most intriguing selection in my opinion was their selection of quarterback Phillip Nelson in the 7th round. It is clear the Renegades would like to add a level of depth to their offense and quarterback room. It is never a bad thing to have a back up who can come in take over while the offense never skips a beat.

In my opinion, the Renegades have accomplished the main goal of phase one, lock down the franchise guy, cater to the scheme, and provide depth at the most important position.

Now as phase two of the draft approaches, it’s time for the Renegades to go out and get some bullies on the offensive line to give their franchise quarterback time to deliver strikes, provide running room for this talented group of running backs, and to keep Jones upright. This is just the beginning.

Go Renegades! #RaisingHell

The eyes of Texas are upon the XFL

Jerrod Heard – TexasSports.com

Saturday at 12 o’clock central standard time, the Longhorns and Sooners will battle for bragging rights and the golden hat, but mostly for bragging rights.

I emphasize “bragging rights” because that’s truly what the Red River Showdown is all about.

Even after players finish their collegiate careers at their respective universities, the rivalry continues to live on when former Sooners and Longhorns come together.

The likelihood of seeing this during next week’s XFL draft is highly likely.

In honor of the Red River Showdown, I want to highlight two former players from both universities and their success during this historical match-up, who are hoping to hear their name called come draft day.

JERROD HEARD

In 2015, Jerrod Heard stepped on the “40 acres” as a two time Texas state champion from Denton Guyer where he broke several records and was one of the best quarterbacks in the country.

Prior to the season starting, Heard lost the quarterback competition against Tyrone Swoopes.  Only to replace Swoopes after a lopsided loss to Notre Dame to start the season.

Heard, continued to utilize his dual threat style of play against the Rice Owls and again against the Cal Golden Bears accounting for 527 yards of total offense, breaking former Texas quarterback Vince Young single game record in a 45-44 loss.

For his fourth career start, Heard had to face the #10 Oklahoma Sooners. Heard and the Texas Longhorns entered that game as underdogs, and head coach Charlie Strong was under immense pressure to win against their bitter rivals after losing two consecutive games.

With pressure at its highest, the freshman quarterback answered the call.

Heard only attempted 11 passes but threw a touchdown, and was able to utilize his running ability again being one of two Longhorns to run for over 100 yards, in their 24-17 victory over the 10th ranked Sooners.

The Longhorns finished that season with a 5-7 record. The Longhorns fired Strong and hired the hot commodity in coaching, Tom Herman.

Heard went on to finish his collegiate career at Texas as a wide receiver totaling 45 receptions 425 and 4 touchdowns.

RYAN BROYLES

Ryan Broyles – Credit

The two time All-American, real estate developer in Oklahoma, and now XFL hopeful, last played professional football in 2015.

Broyles, a product of Norman, played defensive back and wide receiver in High School, finished his career with 79 receptions 1,688 yards and 18 touchdowns on offense and recorded 157 tackles and 20 interceptions on defense. He was named OCA All-State in football, and also a standout in track and field being one of the state’s top performers in high jump.

The instant he suited up for the Sooners he was a star, recording 7 receptions and 141 yards, both freshman school records, against the University of Cincinnati. He finished the 2008 season setting multiple freshman records, including tying the record for receptions in a lone season (46) and receiving yards (687) and touchdowns (6).

In his sophomore season he recorded 76 receptions for 964 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the season finale in the Sun Bowl vs Stanford Broyles received the honor of being name Sun Bowl MVP after totaling 13 catches for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Although Broyles was highly productive , his stats against the Longhorns were not as impressive as they were against other teams.

In 2008,  the Sooners lost to the Longhorns 45-35. He recorded 5 receptions for 36 yards and 1 TD. In 2009, the Sooners lost to the Longhorns again in a close game 16-13. He recorded 2 receptions for 33 yards and 1 TD. (Lowest receptions recorded playing Texas) In 2010,  his Sooners finally got the “monkey off their back” and beat the Longhorns, but Broyles only recorded 5 receptions for 36 yards and 1 touchdown.

Keep in mind 2010 was the best year he had statistically, leading the FBS in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He also entered the season as a preseason All-American and finished the season first team All-Big 12.

In 2011, he flipped the script.

Broyles went off for a game-high nine receptions for 122 yards and 1 touchdown against Texas leading his team to a 55-17 victory against the Longhorns.

He went on to finish his career breaking the record for career receptions in the FBS, recording 349 receptions (now 3rd) and receiving, recording 4,586 yards (now 3rd).  His record of 4,586 yards still stands as the most yards ever recorded by a receiver in the Big 12.

Drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft (54th overall), Broyles played two full seasons with the Lions, and in 2015 decided to focus on life outside of football.

Broyles has elected to come out of retirement to enlist his services to one of the eight teams in the XFL, and I am sure he will find a home where he can have just as much impact on his new team as he did when he played for the University of Oklahoma.

In conclusion, this rivalry has provided more than exciting moments in football history, elite talent, and intense battles for the golden hat.

A trophy? No. This is much more than a trophy. This is about the chance to dig at your arch nemesis each and every year. This is about being able to say “my team got the better of your team” for the next 365 days.

I am sure the two players I highlighted, are prepared to bring that same intensity from their collegiate rivalry to the XFL.

The Sooners the Better

Head coach Bob Stoops gives high fives to quarterback Landry Jones after a touchdown against Idaho State.  (The Oklahoman)

The XFL draft is upon us, and the Dallas Renegades will have a choice of who will represent the team in their first round draft pick. Many have speculated that the former Oklahoma quarterback and also former Pittsburgh Steeler Landry Jones will be the franchise player to bear the title.

Why does this sound so sweet? Landry Jones and Bob Stoops built a solid relationship on and off the field during their tenure at the University of Oklahoma.

Let’s go back to 2008 shall we?

Jones, backup to Sam Bradford his freshman year, was inserted into the first week of action once Bradford went down with an shoulder injury. The Sooners lost that game, but this did not stop Jones and Stoops from building an instant connection the next week against the Idaho State Vandals.

The Landry Jones era began with a BANG!

Jones finished the day completing 18 out of 32 passes, 286 yards through the air, and 3 passing touchdowns in a 64-0 victory over the Vandals. The next week Jones had another impressive day against the Golden Hurricanes of Tulsa University throwing a Sooner record of six passing touchdowns and received AT&T All America Player of the Week honors.

This was just the beginning of a dominating career Jones would go on to have at the University of Oklahoma, finishing his collegiate career with 16,646 passing yards and 123 touchdowns.

Typically, the constructs of a team begin with having the franchise quarterback, and then the franchise adds the other foundational pieces to the puzzle.

All sights are set on this duo and the success they were able to achieve at the University of Oklahoma. Bob Stoops was hired primarily to build a dynastic team in Dallas to win several championships. With Jones, the Renegades may find the perfect fit to spread the gospel of Stoops in the locker room.

With the draft less than a week away the Renegades can get off to an amazing start as a franchise if the front office can pull this off. I am predicting with Jones at the helm as the starting quarterback, the Renegades may be the team to beat. That’s an amazing way to kick the inaugural season off as the new team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area.