If you don't watch a lot of football you may be wondering what kind of players are in the XFL.
League Commissioner Oliver Luck told us in 2019 that teams will be going after the best players not currently on NFL rosters. Several months later, rosters are finalized and we know the players on each team.
In the case of the Tampa Bay Vipers, there are lots of names to get excited about, and many names that may be familiar if you've lived in Florida or followed football in the state for a while.
The two most recognizable names for local fans may be at the quarterback position.
- Aaron Murray was born and raised in Tampa, where he attended Jesuit High School before transferring to Plant where he won a state championship. He went to the University of Georgia for college before being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. After a couple of years of bouncing around NFL teams, he signed with the Alliance of American Football for the 2019 season before joining the Tampa Bay Vipers of the brand new XFL.
- Quinton Flowers is also a QB on the Vipers, but is so much of a dual threat that he's also listed as a running back. Flowers grew up in south Florida before attending college at USF where he instantly became a fan favorite. After setting several school records, Flowers signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent as a running back. He had a short stint with the Indianapolis Colts before finding his home here on the Vipers.
Once a Bull, always a Bull 🤘— Tampa Bay Vipers (@XFLVipers) January 20, 2020
See @SpotTheBall_9 back in action when we take the field for our home opener Saturday Feb. 22 ⏩ https://t.co/woKjE53Bxb@USFFootball | #ForTheLoveOfFootball pic.twitter.com/n2rPNCCiGt
As for other players with Florida connections:
- K Andrew Franks has NFL experience with the Miami Dolphins and a season with the AAF's Orlando Apollos.
- WR Antonio Callaway was playing with the Cleveland Browns as recently as last season. He hails from south Florida and went to University of Florida for college.
- QB Chase Litton was born in Winter Park and later attended Wharton High School and also spent part of a season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- P Jake Schum is a punter who Bucs fans may recognize from his three stints in Tampa, making his NFL debut in 2015.
- WR Donteea Dye should also be familiar to Bucs fans, as he played on the Buccaneers during the 2015-16 season and also played on the Orlando Apollos in 2019.
- WR Stacy Coley is native to Florida. He played his college career at University of Miami and had a few short stints with three NFL teams.
- WR Reece Horn is another WR with NFL experience, as he spent time with the Miami Dolphins.
- CB Tarvarus McFadden is native to Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. He went to American Heritage High School in Plantation before attending Florida State University.
- DB Robert Priester is also local to Tampa, and while he didn't attend college here, he did go to Robinson High School.
- CB Rannell Hall was born in Miami and attended the University of Central Florida. He stayed in Florida, signing with the Bucs as an undrafted free agent before spending time with two other NFL teams, and later the Orlando Apollos.
- RB De’Veon Smith isn't local to our area, but did play for both the Miami Dolphins in 2017 and the Orlando Apollos in 2019.
- SS Bryce Canady was born in Jacksonville, Fl. and played college ball at Florida International University.
- RB Jacques Patrick has stayed in Florida for his career. He was born in Orlando before playing college ball at FSU.
- CB Shelton Lewis played his college career at Florida Atlantic after being born in Orlando, Fl.
- RB Mack Brown was born in Georgia, but took his talents to the University of Florida where he appeared in 49 games before spending time with four NFL teams.
- FS Marcelis Branch is from Homestead, FL and went to Robert Morris for college before stints with 2 NFL teams.
- LB Terrance Plummer is another Golden Knight on the team, born and raised in Orange Park, Fl. before attending UCF and playing in the NFL, CFL and AAF.
- DE Deiontrez Mount was born in Pensacola before going to Fort Walton Beach for high school. After college at Louisville and stints with 3 NFL teams, he's here with us in Tampa Bay.
- C/G Jordan McCray hails from Miami, Fla. and went to UCF where he was named All-American Athletic Conference First Team.
- T/G Martez Ivey was born in Apopka and stayed in state when he went to school at University of Florida before spending a brief time with the New England Patriots.
- G Andrew Tiller doesn't have a ton of Florida ties, but he did play for the orlando Apollos in 2019 after spending time with six NFL squads.
- G/T Marquis Lucas is another Florida talent, born in Miami before heading to West Virginia for college. He also spent time with the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2017 and the Apollos in 2019.
- TE DeAndre Goolsby attended the University of Florida, playing in all 11 games in 2017.
- WR Ryan Davis is a native of St. Petersburg, Fl. and became the Auburn career reception leader in 2018.
- TE Colin Thompson was rated the no. 2 tight end in the country prior to college and went to Unviersity of Florida.
- DL Bobby Richardson, like Aaron Murray, is a Plant High School graduate who grew up in Tampa. He played for a few NFL teams before landing with the Vipers.
- DT CeCe Jefferson is from Glen St. Mary, Fl. and finished his career at the University of Florida with 124 tackles and 10.5 sacks.
More than half the team has a Florida tie in one way or another. Here is a list of the remaining team members:
- QB Taylor Cornelius
- WR Seantavius Jones
- WR Jalen Tolliver
- WR Tanner Mcevoy
- C Antoula Kelly
- FS Micah Hannemann
- SS Demontre Hurst
- FS Corey Moore
- CB Jalen Collins
- LS Nick Moore
- LB Emmanuel Beal
- LB Lucas Wacha
- DT Nikita Whitlock
- G/C John Yarbrough
- LB Ike Spearman
- G Jerald Foster
- G/T Isaiah Williams
- G/T Daronte Bouldin
- WR Daniel Williams
- TE Nick Truesdell
- DL Josh Banks
- DL Jason Neill
- DT Ricky Walker
The Vipers season kicks off on February 9.