There is a saying, “Once a Ranger, always a Ranger.” For former Ranger, Colin Jeter, the Seattle Dragons are home.
Jeter, a Tight End who had his beginnings with the Kilgore College Rangers went on to play in the SEC with the LSU Tigers. Jeter was a two-year starter and three-year letterwinner at tight end for the Tigers. He played in 35 games in LSU career, starting 17 times. As a Tiger he finished his career with 23 receptions for 289 yards and 2 TD’s. He was a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
After succeeding in college at one of the highest stages, Jeter went on to be a member of the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL.
Jeter was then drafted by the Seattle Dragons in the inaugural XFL Draft. While with the Dragons, Jeter has made plays throughout training camp. Jeter offers the Dragons skills in both blocking and receiving. Be sure to look for him make plays all this season.
The Dragons will battle the DC Defenders on Saturday, February 8, 2020. Kick-off is set for 2 pm ET and the game will be broadcasted on ABC.
Since coming to Houston to attend an XFL Seattle Dragons pre-season training camp, Anthony Johnson is focused on one thing… having a successful training camp.
In fact, his insistence that he was not thinking past the training camp to the Dragons opening XFL inaugural game against the DC Defenders on 8 February was proof enough of his mindset.
“It is an exciting feeling,” he said. “But, right now I think we’re just focused on trying to get through camp. Trying to get everything finalized and get us ready for that game.”
Anthony pointed out that the Dragons were preparing for a pre-season matchup against the DC Defenders Monday, a game that would serve to be a “dress rehearsal” for the real game that will take place in three weeks.
Other than the job at hand, Anthony is positive about the Seattle Dragons.
“This is a great team. Everybody has come together pretty quick in just in a short period of time. I’m excited to see where this team goes.”
“We have a great coaching staff around us,” Anthony said. “Coach Lopez has a great mind. I love listening to him, and I love hearing the things that he has to say. Just all of his concepts, and the same thing with coach Johnson, you know, he’s a great coach and he’s helped me a lot with my game since I’ve been here, just changing different things up on how I play.”
We look forward to seeing Anthony on the field for the Seattle Dragons on February 8th.
They call him “Speedy” Byrd and he’s a wide receiver that started out in Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky. In fact, he wanted to play pro football nearly his whole life. When he was young, he wrote a letter to his mother telling her so:
However, like many footballers, there would be many hurdles to cross before Dontez’s “legacy” could be achieved.
When he graduated from high school, Dontez did not have an offer to play at the college level. However, he walked on at Louisville and earned his way onto the team. It worked out, and Byrd made a name for himself on special teams.
In 2017, his senior season, Byrd transferred to Tennessee Tech, where he had a stellar year as a wide receiver where he caught 78 passes for 1,003 yards, and six TDs.
In 2018, this led to Dontez being signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent. After a rookie minicamp, he earned himself a spot on the roster for the preseason. Even though he was waived before the beginning of the regular season, Dontez remains positive about the experience.
“I played in all four preseason games and had three catches for 76 yards,” he said. “it was good to come in and be around all those receivers that I looked up to in college, and having a chance to play with them in the NFL was pretty cool. And now, I use what they taught me today.”
After a switch of agents, his career suffered a slight pause. Byrd’s next opportunity came in 2019 with the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). However, his playing time was limited due to an ankle sprain.
After the AAF league folded, Byrd returned to the situation where he was looking for a new pro football team. When the XFL came along, he expressed interest in the league and looked for an XFL opportunity.
That opportunity finally came in January when he received an invitation to join the Seattle Dragons at their preseason training camp in Houston. The timing of that call was quite miraculous, as Dontez was waiting for a job interview when it happened.
“It’s crazy because I received a call at 8:30 in the morning, and I was in a job interview,” Dontez explained. “It was actually my first job interview. I’ve been waiting a while to play football, and I just decided I was going to get a job.”
“I left the interview and went home. Then, I got packed up and got ready to go.”
Through his faith, Dontez just knows it was divine intervention.
In this episode, Mark Nelson interviews three XFL players, all currently participating in a combined XFL training camp in Houston. First, you hear from Seattle Dragons Defensive end-defensive tackle Anthony Johnson. We last heard from Anthony in a podcast back in October, and today he will give us an update from the Dragons Training camp. Then you will hear from two players who are brand new to the XFL, wide receiver Dontez Byrd of the Seattle Dragons, and Running back James Butler of the Houston Roughnecks. Both of these players were brought into XFL training camps in the past two weeks, and both are trying to prove themselves so they may join their respective teams for the regular season.
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.
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
Colin Jeter, a tight end currently with the Seattle Dragons of the XFL, began his football career at Longview High School in Longview, TX.
“I played for Coach King at Longview,” Jeter said. “As a kid, I played offensive line just because I was the biggest kid. But, I grew up and stretched out, and they decided to make me a tight end.”
After high school, and after some deliberations, Jeter attended LSU and played with the storied Tigers squad.
“I kind of had a wild road, but ended up playing for LSU,” Colin explained. “I got to play there for three years and had a blast. Coach Ensminger recruited me, and he was my tight ends coach, and ended up being the offensives coordinator of the last portion of my senior year.”
“I had a phenomenal time living in Baton Rouge and just enjoying the game and enjoying playing big time football.”
After college, Jeter went undrafted. However, soon after the draft ended he received a phone call from the Indianapolis Colts, and an invitation to their rookie minicamp. From there, Jeter won a spot on the Colts training camp roster, but was stricken by a broken foot in the first week of training camp. It was a setback he did not count on.
“I had earned a spot, at least for the training camp roster before they made cuts. But I ended up breaking my foot the first week of training camp. I had foot surgery and it didn’t work out for me. But, that’s just how the business works.”
A season later, after his foot had healed, Jeter got a shot with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, in what seems like a cruel replay of bad fortune, he suffered a concussion in the first week of training camp and was eventually waived by the Bucs.
Jeter’s next opportunity came with the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football (AAF), however misfortune struck again as he spent much of the shortened AAF season on the IR list.
Now, the XFL has come calling; first by inviting Jeter to a Summer Showcase, and then by the Seattle Dragons drafting him in the fifth round in the October draft. If bad luck comes in threes, Jeter has already had his quota. It must be high time for good fortune to shine on his career.
“I was back out of a job. So, it’s been somewhat of a journey and frustrating with the injury,” Colin said. “That’s how it goes. Let’s start at the guys that have similar stories to me, whether it’s injuries or just not having a room on a roster and you’re just kind of bouncing around. But I think that’s what makes this league (the XFL) so great, is that it provides opportunity for guys like me.”
Clearly, Jeter has set his sights on the XFL as a way to set his pro football career on the right track, and solidify his play as a marquee tight end. He has already been through a minicamp with the Dragons, and next on the slate is the January training camp in Houston.
“Minicamp was kind of introductory phase,” Jeter said. “When training camp comes it’s pretty much a full-go. So, we’re looking forward to just adding onto what we’ve already learned.”
First, we hear from Colin Jeter, a Tight End currently with the Seattle Dragons of the XFL. We talk to Colin about his journey from a high school football team in Longview Texas, to the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, through two NFL teams and eventually being drafted by the Seattle Dragons in the open round of the October draft. Then we talk to one of our XFLBoard.com Tampa Bay Vipers team reporters, Greg Parks. We ask Greg about XFL player movements, and get some idea of what to expect of the fluid team rosters between now and XFL kickoff.
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.
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.