A handful of ex-Washington State Cougars, Eastern Washington Eagles and Idaho Vandals who are still aspiring to play professional football may be able to do so via the XFL, a new league that will hold its inaugural draft over the next two days.
The XFL, a secondary professional league that’s set to begin in February of 2020, is designed for standout collegians who couldn’t last in the NFL or those that didn’t make NFL rosters initially and are still seeking another avenue to play professionally.
The league, supported by a $500 million investment from owner Vince McMahon, aims to give football fans something to watch once the NFL and college seasons end, and is hoping to have more success than the Alliance of American Football (AAF) – a similar league that suspended operations just two months after it began play.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the XFL’s eight teams, located in Dallas, Washington D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle and Tampa Bay, will choose from a pool of 1,000 players to fill 71 roster spots, meaning 568 total players will be selected.
Nine of those 1,000 played their college football in Pullman, Cheney or Moscow.
Washington State’s three-man contingent of XFL hopefuls includes safety Robert Taylor, slot receiver Kyle Sweet and kicker Erik Powell. Taylor, who started in 23 games over two seasons for the Cougars, was with the AAF’s San Antonio Commanders before the league disbanded. Sweet, who had 139 career receptions for more than 1,400 yards at WSU, and Powell, a former Lou Groza Award semifinalist, are seeking their first opportunities in professional football.
Eastern Washington is represented in the XFL Draft pool by Jordan Dascala, a punter/kicker who punted 125 times in his three years with the Eagles after transferring from WSU and averaged 42.6 yards per punt during his senior season in Cheney. Dascalo handled kickoffs for the Eagles, and occasoinally field goals, but he’ll enter the XFL Draft as a punter.
Idaho’s XFL crew includes Matt Linehan, the schools all-time leading passer and the quarterback that led the Vandals to a win over Colorado State in the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Linehan was on the roster of the AAF’s Salt Lake Stallions, along with Austin Rehkow, a former Idaho teammate and Spokane native who graduated from Central Valley. Rehkow is among the ex-Vandal players in the XFL pool, joining former Freeman High offenisve lineman Jordan Rose, defensive end Quinton Bradley and wide receiver Reuben Mwehla.
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