LA Wildcats claw the Roughnecks in XFL test game

Photo: Justin Kelm

The Houston Roughnecks battled the LA Wildcats on Tuesday, January 21 at TDECU Stadium in Houston.

The Roughnecks came out with the typical June Jones explosive offense. Kicker #7 Sergio Castillo blasted two successful field goals. Perfect snaps from Long Snapper #58 Colten Taylor made it easy for Castillo to connect on a 47 yard field goal. This is nothing new as Castillo was an CFL All-Star last season in BC.

The scoring went in favor of the Roughnecks during the first half. Connor Cook found Kahlil Lewis for the 82 yard score. The Roughnecks bench exploded with cheers. At the half, the score was 18 to 8.

The third quarter begun with the Wildcats coming out seeking a comeback. The comeback came with numerous plays made by Quarterback Chad Kanoff. He found Wide Receivers Kermit Whitfield and Saeed Blacknall for the scores. The Wildcats attempted for a two point conversion attempt and it was successful. The score was 20 to 18 and the Wildcats took the lead.

The Roughnecks continued to fight back but the lead continued to grow. The Wildcats went up 23 to 18 as the final portion of regulation was complete. Penalties caused issues for both teams all game.

Going into the Overtime portion of the game, the Roughnecks needed five points to clearly win the game if this was a regular game. Neither team scored until the fourth attempt when the Roughnecks scored. Each team was given five attempts each to score one point for a successful conversion. The Wildcats did not convert on any of them. The Roughnecks won the Overtime portion 1 to 0.

The Roughnecks will host the Wildcats for the Regular Season Opener of the XFL on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 4 p.m. on FOX.

XFL LA Wildcats trade Luis Perez to the New York Guardians

Three months after being assigned to the Los Angeles Wildcats as their Tier 1 quarterback, Luis Perez was traded to the New York Guardians for quarterback Charles Kanoff.

After the Los Angeles Wildcats acquired veteran quarterback Josh Johnson, it has become rumored that Perez was not in the running for the starting quarterback job.

Head Coach and General Manager Winston Moss said of the Perez trade:

“We respect Luis. He is a first-class person and a first-class player. We felt as though the development of Josh Johnson and Jalan McClendon would give us the best chance to have success this season.”

Charles Kanoff played college football at Princeton. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, and also spent time on the  practice squads of the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before signing with the Guardians on January 5, 2019. He only spent two weeks with the Guardians before being moved to the Wildcats.

The New York Guardians have not indicated how Perez will figure into their quarterback depth chart.

Four XFL Teams Engage in Wide Receiver Trades

The XFL announced more trades on their transaction page Sunday with all four teams involved swapping wide receivers. This is the first trades made since December 18th as it is the latest wave of roster moves being made by teams before training camp concludes on January 21st.

Dallas Renegades trade Wide Receiver Stacy Coley to the Tampa Bay Vipers for Wide Receiver Freddie Martino

Stacy Coley performed well at mini camp last month for the Renegades as they have one of the deepest wide receiver cores in the XFL making competition fierce at the position. Jazz Ferguson has emerged as a big play receiver on the outside for Dallas which could have played a role in Coley being traded to Tampa Bay. Vipers head coach Marc Trestman loves to sling the ball as he is known for being able to work well with quarterbacks. Coley should have plenty of time to prove himself during training camp. He will have to compete with a receiving core that should open up chances to start, but Coley have great speed and showed reliable hands for Dallas.

Freddie Martino will fit perfectly in Renegades offensive coordinator Hal Mumme’s offense as he also possesses great speed as he runs at around a 4.49 40-yard dash and has a chance to come in and play in the slot. Don’t be surprised if he gets a look at special teams as well as he could be looked at as a returner. He showed great potential in his last stop in the AAF with the Arizona Hotshots where he recorded 11 catches for 126 yards. He will have a lot of competition as Ferguson as well as Flynn Nagel have made things tougher with their play on the field.

LA Wildcats trade Wide Receiver Rashad Ross to the DC Defenders for Wide Receiver Tre McBride

Rashad Ross was a force in the AAF as he was regarded as one of the best receivers in the league. He is an absolute burner and can go one-on-one with any corner in the XFL. He had 36 catches for 583 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games with the Arizona Hotshots. It comes as a surprise that the Wildcats would let him go, but this can be seen as a major boast for the Defenders. Quarterback Cardale Jones will have a deep threat to throw it to and really makes the receiver position tough for the DC coaches to decide on with Malachi Dupree and Eli Rogers highlighting a deep group. It’s safe to say that DC improved with this move and now makes what is already a talented offense better and more dangerous.

Tre McBride ran a 4.37 40-yard dash if that speaks to what kind of receiver he is at 6 foot tall. He will make for a solid slot receiver in LA. There is talent at receiver for the Wildcats, but will need to find their number one target in the offense for either Luis Perez or Josh Johnson to throw to when the season starts. McBride will have to make his mark as a deep threat with his speed and could work his way into a returner role being one of the faster players on the active roster. Chow now has another piece to the offense to play with in regards to how to utilize his speed to deep routes or wide receiver reserve runs.

Overall Impression

It’s hard to say who won with these trades as all four of these receivers will have equal opportunity to make their teams and all have prior professional football experience which is a plus. They all have until January 21st to quickly learn the offenses and show off their skills quickly. Coley and Ross should play well enough to earn roster spots and even start for their teams in week one of the season. All these receivers are good roster fits with great speed which opens up special teams returner as options for each of them.

All Eight XFL teams are headed to training camps in Houston

XFL Training Camp Houston

In preparation for the kickoff of the XFL inaugural season on the weekend of 8-9 February 2020, all eight XFL teams are headed to training camps in Houston.  The training camps will be an extensive 17-day affair, lasting from Saturday 4 January to Wednesday 22 January 2020.

XFL teams will converge on various locations across Harris County to practice and continue to get ready for the 2020 season. Nearly 1,000 people, consisting of players, coaches, staff, game officials and production teams from FOX Sports and ESPN, will descend on Houston and the local area. The XFL has committed to more than 10,000 hotel room nights for players and staff who plan to consume more than 60,000 meals during their time in Houston. According to the Houston Sports Authority, the XFL training camps are expected to generate in excess of $7,000,000 of revenue for Harris County.

At a November press conference, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner lauded his city as a great place to hold such an extensive training camp. “Houston is a sports town,” he said. “We have great fans and we support our teams. The XFL made the right call when it chose the city as the home of the Roughnecks, and now, I am even more excited that all eight XFL teams and nearly 1,000 representatives will come to the Houston area for their training camps in January 2020. I’m confident this will generate a great deal of fan excitement and interest in the new football league.”

Also important to note, it will be at the end of this training camp that all eight XFL teams will cut down their rosters from approximately 70 players to a reported size of 52. Many of the cut players will remain with the XFL and will form the basis for “Team 9,” a collection of players that will be ready to take the place of injured players on each of the XFL teams. It is reported that Team 9 will be headquartered, and practice in Houston.

Locations

XFL teams will be spread out at various locations in Houston and across Harris County.

 

Dallas Renegades: Darryl Tully Stadium, Spring Branch ISD

DC Defenders: Rice Stadium, Rice University

Houston Roughnecks: TDECU Stadium, University of Houston

Los Angeles Wildcats: Alexander Durley Stadium, Texas Southern University

New York Guardians: Husky Stadium, Houston Baptist University

St. Louis BattleHawks: W.W. Thorne Stadium, Aldine ISD

Seattle Dragons: Delmar Stadium, Houston ISD

Tampa Bay Vipers: George Tuner Stadium, Humble ISD

XFL Los Angeles Wildcats Roster *Updated 26 Dec 2019

Here is the latest roster for the Los Angeles Wildcats. These rosters are fluid right now, and we will try to keep you up to date as quick as the league updates their rosters.

NamePosCollege
Terrell AlexRBSouthern
Brandon BarnesTEAlabama State
Latarius BradyDTMemphis
KD CannonWRBaylor
Martez CarterRBGrambling
Bryce CheekCBAkron
Taryn ChristionQBSouth Dakota State
Jerome CouplinSAFWilliam & Mary
Ryan CummingsOGWyoming
Marn DiggsSAFAlabama-Birmingham
Winston DimelRBTexas-El Paso
Ahmad DixonSAFBaylor
Jaylen DunlapCBIllinois
Austin FlynnDEArkansas
Alex FunchesLBCalifornia
Keyarris GarrettWRTulsa
Quentin GauseLBRutgers
Jalen GreeneWRUtah State
DeQuan HamptonWRSouthern California
Dujuan HarrisRBTroy
Roderick HendersonDTAlabama State
Darnell HillSAFTuskegee
Treydonte HillWRWestern New Mexico
Tyree HolderCBBall State
Elijah HoodRBNorth Carolina
Reggie HowardDTToledo
Montori HughesDTTennessee-Martin
Joshua JenkinsCBArmy
Adonis JenningsWRTemple
Anthony JohnsonDTLouisiana State
Josh  JohnsonQBSan Diego
Taiwan JonesLBMichigan State
Fred LauinaOGOregon State
Toa LobendahnOGSouthern California
Lene MaiavaOTArizona
Damien MamaOGSouthern California
Willie MaysDETiffin
Jalan McClendonQBBaylor
Harlan MillerCBSoutheastern Louisiana
Cordon MoogTEBaylor
Ryan NavarroLSOregon State
Dame NdiayeDEPortland State
Storm NortonOTToledo
Nick NovakKMaryland
Luis PerezQBTexas A&M-Commerce
Eric PinkinsLBSan Diego State
Jordan PowellSAFWidener
Cedric ReedDETexas
Owen RobertsDTSan Jose State
Jaelin RobinsonOTTemple
Tyler RoemerOTSan Diego State
Larry RoseRBNew Mexico State
Rashad RossWRArizona State
Trevon SandersDTTroy
Colton SchmidtPCalifornia-Davis
Nico SiragusaOGSan Diego State
Jordan-Elijah SmallwoodWROklahoma
Will SmithLBTexas Tech
Arrion SpringsCBOregon
Nelson SpruceWRColorado
Johnny StantonTENevada-Las Vegas
Mike StevensCBNorth Carolina State
Roman TatumCBSouthern Illinois
Jack TochoCBNorth Carolina State
Patrick VaheOGTexas
Dwayne WallaceOTKansas
Kermit WhitfieldWRFlorida State
LaDarius WileySAFVanderbilt
Tre' WilliamsLBAuburn

XFL Xtra Episode 16-2019 – The Ins and the Outs – Cole Tracy, Scott Daly and Jerimiah Spicer

We hear from Cole Tracy, a place kicker who has just been put on the roster of the Seattle Dragons, in time for their upcoming training camp in January. We talk about how Cole’s patience was rewarded when he heard he would be a member of the Dragons. Then we talk to Scott Daly, a long snapper currently on the roster of the New York Guardians. We hear about Scott’s journey, from Downer’s Grove Illinois, to Notre Dame, and then to two consecutive startup leagues, first the Alliance of American football, and now the XFL. Finally, we talk with Jerimiah Spicer, a linebacker whose persistence got him an invite to an XFL Summer Showcase in Los Angeles and drafted to the XFL Wildcats training camp roster. However, the Wildcats have now waived him. We hear about his plan to continue his quest for a pro football career, and discover there is no quit in Jerimiah Spicer.

Music: Are You Ready – Free music archive.

Podcast Photo: LSU Tigers place kicker Cole Tracy (36) and LSU Tigers punter Josh Growden (38) were perfect on the day, Georgia Bulldogs vs LSU Tigers, Football, Tiger Stadium, October 13, 2018, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer.

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The unkindest cut: XFL not immune from cold reality of football’s business

Shawn Oakman - Jerimiah Spicer
Shawn Oakman – Jerimiah Spicer

To this point in the rebooted league, the letters “XFL” have stood for “opportunity.” For coaches, for fans, but most of all, for players. The league has shined a spotlight on athletes getting second and sometimes third chances to play a sport they love at a high level.

But just like any other sports league, the XFL is also a business. And we saw that side rear its head earlier this week when the LA Wildcats announced their first transactions. Among them were the releases of DT Shawn Oakman and LB Jerimiah Spicer.

Both men’s stories have been chronicled in-depth both here at XFLBoard.com and elsewhere. Rumors quickly surfaced on social media about what led to Oakman’s release, though none have been verified. Both he and Spicer were looking to jump-start their careers in LA after the NFL had long ago given up on them. Both will now have to once again wait by the phone, hoping for another XFL team (or another football league) to take a shot on them.

The conclusion of the league’s minicamps is the first time teams will look to pare down their rosters in anticipation of the January supplemental draft prior to training camp. The Wildcats have already announced cuts. The DC Defenders are down about 15 players from when they began. Other teams could announce their transactions in the coming days.

The XFL has sprung hope in many observers. But as teams continue to mold their rosters, readying for the first week of games in early February, less than two months away, the releases of Oakman and Spicer show that while the XFL is indeed the land of opportunity, that opportunity can be finite.

Breaking Down the XFL’s First Trades

The past few months have been filled with historical events from the league announcing its return to announcing team names to its first draft. Thursday was different though. We saw our first trades in the league’s history.

This week, news came out about the LA Wildcats making some cuts to its roster so this week seems to be the first round of roster moves made by all eight teams. We got a taste of the first trades by four of the franchises.

LA Wildcats Trade DT Leon Orr to the Tampa Bay Vipers for DT Trevon Sanders (December 11th)

This trade was actually made on December 11th, but not announced until Thursday so this is the official first trade in XFL history. Both the Wildcats and the Vipers decided to swap defensive tackles in Leon Orr and Trevon Sanders.

Orr heads back to his home state of Florida where he played at the University of Florida. He proved to be a force in the middle of the defensive line against the run while also showing he can get to the quarterback as he recorded 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss in four seasons. He bounced around between NFL teams with the Raiders and the Dolphins. Earlier this year, he joined Steve Spurrier in Orlando with the Apollos in the Alliance of American Football where he recorded ten tackles in eight games. Orr will have to compete with Ricky Walker, Giorgio Newberry, and Josh Banks in training camp for roster spots.

Trevon Sanders was dominate during his time in college with Troy where he recorded over 100 tackles, 16 of them for a loss and six sacks from the defensive tackle position. Sanders was on the New York Jets in the NFL before getting drafted by the Vipers in the XFL Draft. He was expected to be competing for a starting job over in Tampa, but with the roster changes the Wildcats have been making, he might have a chance to make an impact on the defensive line. Under the leadership of a defensive-minded coach like Winston Moss could help him develop through training camp.

Tampa Bay Vipers Trade CB Arrion Springs to the LA Wildcats for CB Jalen Collins (December 17th)

CB Jalen Collins to @XFLVipers; CB Arrion Springs to @XFLWildcatsThey must have enjoyed their first trade so much that they decided to work together again on another trade involving their defenses. This time both teams wanted to make a move in their secondary.

Despite not known for being a ballhawk, Arrion Springs possess great coverage skills as he was a strong tackler at Oregon where he recorded 137 tackles, two interceptions, 44 pass deflections, three force fumbles and one fumble recovery. Springs has NFL experience as he bounced around between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers. He will be another new defender who should benefit from Moss and will compete with what is a young cornerback room.

Jalen Collins is another example of a surprise roster move by the Wildcats as he was predicted by many to be the veteran leader of the defense with his experience in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons where he saw playing time during the 2016 season with two interceptions in eight games played and led the team in tackles in their Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. He is one of the most experienced players in the league and shouldn’t have any trouble making the Vipers roster. He does have character issues as he was suspended four times during his NFL season. This could be his chance to prove his worth and be one of the best pass defenders in the XFL.

Dallas Renegades Trade WR Keith Mumphery for St. Louis BattleHawks LB Markus Jones (December 18th)

WR Keith Mumphrey to @XFLBattleHawks; LB Markus Jones to @XFLRenegadesThe Renegades have one of the deepest receiving cores in the league and with so much speed and talent on the roster, it’s no surprise Dallas decided to take advantage of their deep depth chart and find ways to improve other parts of their roster.

The rich keep getting richer for the BattleHawks as they add to their own deep receiving core that includes NFL veterans Quinton Patton and Terrance Williams. Mumphrey is known for his great play at Michigan State where he caught 88 balls for 1348 yards and seven touchdowns in his college career. He has great speed and looked good during mini-camp as he was able to get good separation from corners during one-on-one coverage. He could fill in at the slot for St. Louis if he was able to win a roster spot. His speed also makes him an asset on special teams with returning experience with the Houston Texans as that could be his ticket to make the team.

Markus Jones is no slouch player as he was one of the best defensive players in Division II football Angelo State where he was named National Defensive Player of the Year as he recorded a school record 17.5 sacks and had a career mark of 37 sacks. He was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens before making his appearance in the XFL. He’ll be a perfect fit in Chris Woods’ 3-4 defense as he has a ton of speed that can be utilized on the outside pass rush. He has a knack for hitting the quarterback and can play defensive end or linebacker so I expect him to be able to alternate between the two positions. This was a win-win trade for both teams.

There is no quit in Jerimiah Spicer

Linebacker Jerimiah Spicer’s persistence got him an invite to an XFL Summer Showcase in Los Angeles and drafted to the XFL Wildcats training camp roster.  However, the Wildcats have now waived him, near the end of their inaugural minicamp.

Spicer says he is not ready to give up on his dream of playing pro football.

“I’m not going to quit,” Jerimiah said defiantly, via a telephone interview. “I’ll keep pushing my film out and wait for the opportunity to come.”

We all know how Spicer has faced adversity in the past. In fact, Spicer was recently showcased in an XFL video that focused on his inspirational journey from homeless to a football career.

YouTube video

 

When Jerimiah was drafted to the XFL, he received a highly publicized phone call from the Wildcat’s draft room, which included a personal congratulation from Wildcat’s President Heather Brooks Karatz.

Speaking from the XFL training camp at UNLV in Las Vegas on Tuesday 17 December, Head Coach Winston Moss talked about the team’s decision to waive players from their roster. “It’s an ugly part of the business. It’s something you don’t ever want to go through. Moss also pointed out the Wildcats were happy to give Spicer an opportunity. “Jerimiah was a special case. He deserved a shot. We gave him an opportunity. It was unfortunate we had to release him, but we have to do what is best for the Wildcats.”

With the Wildcats, Jerimiah knows where he stood when he came into their minicamp. “I was an underdog, and I came in an underdog,” he said. “I learned a lot at minicamp and I was definitely getting better and better.”

Spicer feels he held up his end of the bargain, but he is forever grateful for the opportunity.

“I felt like I was working at being the best linebacker in the XFL. I was working at giving the people what they wanted to see. That’s how I feel… I am forever grateful they gave me the opportunity. I’ve got nothing bad to say about Coach Moss.”

For Spicer, being waived by the Wildcats was a business decision.

“It is business. They brought in a guy from the Vikings today. It is what it is.”

Surely, football fans will be watching Jerimiah Spicer, and waiting to see what is next in his pro football career.

LA Wildcats waive Spicer and Oakman, re-sign Johnny Stanton

We had been hearing that DE Shawn Oakman had been waived by the XFL’s LA Wildcats, but, on Tuesday it became official as the Wildcats announced they had waived Oakman as well as CB C.J. Moore, LB Jerimiah Spicer, OT Damian Prince, and OT Anthony Morris.

Speaking from the XFL training camp at UNLV in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Head Coach Winston Moss was rather remorseful. “It’s an ugly part of the business. It’s something you don’t ever want to go through. It’s my first time having to do this. The players were very emotional. You get attached to these guys very quickly, it hurts to see them go.

We’re looking to improve our roster at all levels. The cuts being made will help us do that. We are winding down minicamp and we have to be in the best position heading into training camp.”

Moss also pointed out the Wildcats were happy to give Spicer an opportunity. “Jerimiah was a special case. He deserved a shot. We gave him an opportunity. It was unfortunate we had to release him, but we have to do what is best for the Wildcats.”

In other news, the Wildcats re-signed Johnny Stanton IV, a standout RB who had gone to the Minnesota Vikings, but was recently released by the NFL team. Stanton now rejoins the XFL, and says he is “excited for the opportunity.”