Former Fort Valley State University punter Marquette King is returning to professional football in the XFL. King began his professional career in the NFL, but will make his debut this weekend as punter for the Arlington Renegades of the XFL. The Renegades will host the Vegas Vipers in Arlington Feb. 18 on ABC network.
While at FVSU, King was a standout. He was originally a wide receiver. Without seeing much time for the Wildcats, he began practicing punting. His coach put him at punter and he was dynamic. In one game against Bethune-Cookman, he nailed an 80-yard kick.
In 2012, he would go undrafted. He would catch on with the Oakland Raiders and sign a three-year contract. He would excel in his first full year punting, grossing 48.9 yards-per-punt. He was a dynamic athlete who could flip the field for the Raiders. He would go on to set Raiders’ single-season records in 2014. He would earn Special Teams Player of the Week in 2015.
Marquette King became known for his punt celebrations. As with anything flashy, not everyone was warm with the idea. With Jon Gruden being hired as new Raiders coach in 2018, King, who had an ongoing beef with him, was released. He would sign with the Denver Broncos, but sustain an injury and be released from the Broncos.
With NFL records in hand, King would seek another opportunity in the NFL until virtually giving up hope. King was the sixth full-time black punter in the league, following the lead of FAMU’s Greg Coleman who became the NFL’s first black punter in 1977.
The XFL provides a new opportunity for King, a talented HBCU product. He was a part of the original XFL in 2020 with the St. Louis Battlehawks and had his contract terminated as did the other players in the league when they suspended operations.