Now that the NFL season has come and gone, we turn our attention not only to the offseason, but to a whole new beast. Or maybe it’s some sort of Disney reboot of the first edition and we’re all just living in a big simulation. Either way, one thing is clear: The XFL season kicks off this Saturday and if you love (bad) football as much as I do you should be thrilled to just have football, no matter what the medium is. There are some interesting rule tweaks for sure, including 2 forward passes in a play (one must be behind the line of scrimmage) and new point after rules that include a 3 point conversion. If nothing else, the XFL gave us some strong football innovations in its first incarnation (praise the lord in heaven above for skycam, amen) so it’s not unrealistic to think we could see some of these tweaks in the NFL sooner or later.
Before we begin, I do have some unfortunate news. The Defenders have rejected my (very reasonable and polite) media credential request.
Is the Basement the most unfairly persecuted news outlet in the country? I’ll leave that for you to decide but the facts speak for themselves. Unfortunately for them, I am Inaugural Season Ticket Holder Harry Mac, and they cannot stop me from making that sweet sweet #content everyone craves. I will be at every Defenders home game covering the team, credential or not. And as an Inaugural Season Ticket Holder, I even get an on field pass for a game where I will undoubtedly make a fool of myself in an attempt to get Tyree Jackson on the Reverse Mush Podcast.
Now, like Mulan said, let’s get down to business. I have already declared my allegiance to the DC Defenders credential or not, and I hope this blog might convince you to do the same. Let’s take a look at some notable players whose names you should definitely recognize:
Cardale Jones, OSU – 2015 CFP National Champ. Most notably did not come here to play school. Drafted by the Bills and spent some time with the Chargers but never caught on, only attempting 11 career NFL passes. Big draw but will lose the job to the next guy on the list.
Tyree Jackson, Buffalo – 2018 MAC MVP and OPOY. Undrafted but received an invite to Bills camp, however failed to make the 53 man roster. 6’7”, 250 lbs, with a cannon for an arm and plus hand size. A scouts wet dream. Not as big a name as Cardale but will win the starting job at some point this season. If you want some Tyree tape see my old breakdown.
Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana – 2017 First Team All BIG10. Spent time with Redskins and Saints. 12 career college touchdowns over the course of 2 seasons and a game.
Deandre Thompkins, WR, Penn State – Elite college deep threat who averaged 15 yds/rec over his college career. Spent time with the Eagles this summer.
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, SDSU – you might remember Pumphrey as the 5’8” wrecking ball who holds the all time NCAA DI rushing record.
Nick Brossette, RB, LSU – The successor to Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice, Brossette has big shoes to fill as a Tiger. 1039 yards with a 4.3 YPA as a senior when given bell cow volume.
Matt Elam, S, Florida – A name that should definitely ring a bell, Elam was a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC in 2012. 77 Tackles, 3 passes defensed, and a pick his rookie season before injuries and some legal trouble.
Doran Grant, CB, OSU – Former teammate of Cardale Jones and 2015 CFP Champ. 4th round draft pick. Spent 4 years in the NFL but was never able to stay healthy, could be a player that gets NFL looks if his health holds up.
Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona – Far too tremendous a name to exclude. 270 tackles in 30 games in college.
Those are some of the more notable names but overall there are 16 players who played their college ball either at BIG10 or SEC progrums. That’s pretty on par with the rest of the XFL which to me means there’s good value for The Defenders to take home the XFL Title at +600. Here’s to hoping the XFL sticks around a little longer than the AAF, and also Vince McMahon I know you’re reading this and if you hire me I will retract anything and everything you’d like. You let me wet the beak and I’ll shill like my life depends on it and that’s a promise.