The start of the 2023 XFL season is just around the corner, and all eight teams will have HBCU representation when the league kicks off for the third time.
A total of 19 former HBCU stars are scattered amongst the eight teams in the league.
The Orlando Guardians lead the XFL with a total of seven former HBCU football stars. Former North Carolina A&T star Jah-Maine Martin will be a part of the squad as will former Hampton quarterback Deondre Francois. Offensive linemen Jordan Ighofose and David Moore both hail from Grambling State. Defensive back C.J. Holmes played his college ball at Jackson State under Deion Sanders. Offensive lineman Emmanuel Olenga hails from Tennessee State. Florida A&M’s James Spady plays on the offensive line as well.
The San Antonio Brahmas have a total of three HBCU players on its roster — two of them from the same school. Defensive back Terrell Bonds and offensive lineman Chidi Okeke are both Tennessee State alumni. Quarterback Jawon Pass finished his career at Prairie View A&M after starting at Louisville.
The Houston Roughnecks former Hampton offensive lineman James Stanley is on the reserve list. Delaware State’s Brycen Alleyne is a running back for the squad. Norfolk State’s Justin Smith plays wide receiver.
The D.C. Defenders have only one HBCU player, former Alcorn State wide receiver Chris Blair. However, the franchise is coached by Alabama State alumnus and former head coach Reggie Barlow, who left Virginia State for the job.
Mississippi Valley State defensive lineman Bryant Jones and former Virginia State defensive back Will Adams will be the HBCU representatives on the Vegas Vipers.
Former NFL All-Pro and Fort Valley State alumnus Marquette King is the lone representative on the Arlington Renegades.
The St. Louis Battlehawks have no active members, but former Hampton wide receiver Hezekiah Grimsley is on the reserve squad.
Rounding out the XFL list, the Seattle Sea Dragons have two HBCU products in their defensive backfields — South Carolina State’s Zafir Kelly is on the roster as well as Qwynnterrio Cole. Cole started his career at Alcorn State before finishing up at Louisville.