Two HBCU football players selected in XFL Rookie Draft

A Celebration Bowl Champion and defensive playmaker made it to the next level after being drafted in the XFL.

Robert Mitchell, offensive lineman from North Carolina Central (NCCU), and Keyron Kinsler Jr., defensive back from Alcorn State, achieved a major step in their football career by being selected in the XFL Rookie Draft on Friday, June 16.


Hailing from Millsboro, Delaware, Robert Mitchell was selected by the Vegas Vipors for the upcoming season.

The 6-3, 305-pound lineman was a force for NCCU Eagles. His fire performance on the field earned him the 2022 MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year. Mitchell’s dominant gameplay led the Eagles’ offensive line, recording an impressive 90.2% grade on blocking. Throughout the season, he allowed eight pressures on top of hitting 69 pancake blocks, firmly establishing himself as a top dog on the front lines.

With Mitchell leading the way, the Eagles held the fifth-highest-scoring offense in the nation, averaging an impressive 38.6 points per game. Along with that ranking, NCCU led the NCAA Division I-FCS in third-down conversions at 55.8%, and ruled the MEAC in total offense (445.3 yards per game), rushing offense (210.6 yards per game), and passing offense (234.8 yards per game).

Robert Mitchell North Carolina Central Vegas Vipers XFL

Robert Mitchell and North Carolina Central clinched the 2022 MEAC championship and the HBCU national championship, after defeating Jackson State in the Cricket Celebration Bowl. The Eagles finished the 2022 season with a 10-2 record, ranking them at No. 17 in the FCS Coaches Poll and earning them an HBCU national championship.


Defensive back, Keyron Kinsler was one of the ten rookies to be drafted by the Orlando Guardians

Before his college career, Kinsler made his mark at North Marion High School, where he started on the varsity team beginning his sophomore year. He showed his versatility, lettering in football, track & field, weightlifting, and baseball. His performance on the football field earned him recognition as First-Team All-County as a senior and Second-Team All-County as a junior. His senior year, Kinsler recorded 115 tackles, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles, awarding him Honorable Mention All-State honors.

Keyron Kinsler Alcorn State

Popping out on his freshman year with Alcorn State, Kinsler wasted no time dominating. The Florida native saw action in all 12 games, etching 35 tackles, including 23 solo tackles.

Rolling into the 2019 season, the sophomore continued to show why he was a pivotal player for Braves’ defense.He had 53 tackles, ranking fifth on the team, along with 4.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions. Kinsler also recorded a career-high 10 tackles against Savannah State.

Two HBCU football players selected in XFL Rookie Draft
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