Five Former Mountaineers Part Of Current XFL Draft Pool
There are currently 23 former Mountaineer football players earning paychecks in professional ranks, as 21 are on NFL rosters and two others are participating in Canadian Football League.
Another group who previously suited up for WVU hopes to catch on to a new professional football league, the XFL.
The XFL commissioner is another former West Virginia football player, Oliver Luck, who also served as WVU’s director of athletics from 2010-14.
The new league, which is owned by Vince McMahon of WWE fame, plans to start the season for its eight-team league on Feb. 8, 2020 – the week after the NFL’s Super Bowl.
The XFL may be four months from starting its season, but it is preparing to assemble its teams.
This week the league is rolling out its pool of nearly 1,000 players who will be eligible its upcoming draft, which will be conducted Oct. 15-16.
A number of former Mountaineers are already part of that draft pool, and others may join them in the next few days as the XFL reveals more pieces of the draft-available pool.
So far five former WVU players are on the list –linebacker Terence Garvin, safety Jeremy Tyler, cornerback Elijah Battle, offensive lineman Isaiah Hardy and safety Kenny Robinson,
A native of Baltimore, Garvin played safety for West Virginia from 2009-12. He was not selected in the NFL Draft following his senior season, but made the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster as an undrafted free agent the subsequent fall. Moving from safety to linebacker, he spent three seasons in Pittsburgh, where he was also a key special teams contributor, then played one year each in Washington, Seattle and San Francisco. He signed this past offseason with Miami, but was cut by the Dolphins before the 2019 regular season began. Now he’ll try to get back into the pro ranks in the XFL.
A native of Lithonia, Georgia, Tyler spent four years with the Mountaineers (2013-16), emerging as a starter his senior season. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills after his college days were complete, but did not make the active roster.
After transferring to WVU from Dodge City (Kansas) Community College in 2016, Battle became a mainstay at cornerback for the Mountaineers the next two seasons. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, but didn’t make the active roster.
Hardy and Robinson were each members of WVU’s 2018 squad, but neither got opportunities in NFL camps this past summer. Hardy, a former juco transfer from Lackawanna (Pa.) College, started seven games last season for West Virginia at right guard. A native of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, Robinson earned a starting job as a true freshman at cornerback for the Mountaineers in 2017, then moved back to safety in 2018, where he earned first-team all-Big 12 honors. But in June, Robinson entered the transfer portal after a reported academic situation at WVU. The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder never did move on to a new college, but instead will now try to earn a spot in the XFL.
Two other players who started their college careers at West Virginia before transferring to other schools are also in the XFL draft pool. Evan Rodriguez came to WVU from North Bergen, New Jersey as a safety/linebacker in 2007, but got into off-field trouble and left the school after one year. He landed at Temple, where he moved to tight end and became a very productive player. He was drafted in the fourth round by Chicago in 2012, but lasted only one season with the Bears. He tried to earn a roster spot with several other NFL teams after that, but never found a permanent home. A native of Keyser, West Virginia, Quincy Redmon was a walk-on at WVU in 2013, but transferred to Fairmont State (W.Va.) University the next season. He became an outstanding defensive end at the D-II level with the Falcons, where he was the MEC defensive player of the year in 2016. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Miami Dolphins in 2018, but did not make their active roster. Now Rodriguez and Redmon will each try to make it in the XFL.
There will likely be more former Mountaineers added to the XFL draft pool when further names are announced in the coming days.
From this draft pool, each of the XFL’s eight teams will select 71 players next week. That roster will be pared down to 52 by the start of the regular season.