The XFL has started back up for their third try at spring football and recently concluded their inaugural draft. The league plans to play starting in February and is now run by an ownership group that is led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. As of now, it appears that the XFL and the USFL will be playing spring football to nationally televised audiences next year, with the USFL kicking off their season in April.
Spring football is something you’re going to hear more about, especially if you’re a Green Bay Packers fan. Last summer, no NFL team had more USFL players on their 90-man roster than the Packers. Two of those players, kicker Ramiz Ahmed and safety Micah Abernathy, played well enough in the preseason to earn practice squad spots with the team. Both of them have seen game action in the 2022 regular season and Abernathy actually initially made the Packers’ 53-man roster before now nickel safety Rudy Ford was signed by Green Bay after final cuts.
If you plan on tuning into any XFL games next year, you should see familiar faces across the league, if you’ve been watching Packers preseason games or have gone to any of their training camp practices. Four players drafted into the XFL were among Green Bay’s final cuts in 2022: running back Dexter Williams (Arlington Renegades), tight end Alize Mack (San Antonio Bahamas), tight end Sal Cannella (Renegades) and offensive lineman Michal Menet (Seattle Sea Dragons.) Cannella, who came to the Packers by way of the USFL last year, was actually the seventh player selected in the draft.
Three other players, offensive lineman Ty Clary (DC Defenders), inside linebacker Ellis Brooks (Houston Roughnecks) and defensive back Raleigh Texada (Roughnecks), were also in camp in Green Bay last summer. Beyond just 2022 Packers, here are some other blasts from the past who were picked up to play spring ball:
- RB Ryquell Armstead, Defenders
- WR Darrius Shepherd, St. Louis Battlehawks
- TE Ethan Wolf, Defenders
- OL Jacob Capra, Sea Dragons
- DT Fadol Brown, Defenders
- EDGE Chauncey Rivers, Roughnecks
- DB Josh Hawkins, Renegades
- DB Kentrell Brice, Defenders
- DB Rojesterman Farris, Sea Dragons
Former Packers first-round pick and Pro Bowler Terrell Buckley is the head coach of the Orlando Guardians. Previously, Buckley has spent time as a defensive backs coach for Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Louisville and Akron. Darren Perry, a former longtime safeties coach under Mike McCarthy, has taken his first job in coaching since 2017 to be the Vegas Vipers’ defensive backs coach. Former Packers special teams coordinator Ron Zook is set to be the Sea Dragons’ defensive coordinator, which will mark the first time since 2001 that Zook has held that title.