San Diego is the seventh of eight cities we believe should obtain an XFL franchise. A few things immediately stand out about this metropolis. First, it just lost its NFL team, the Chargers, and is hungry to prove its fandom. With a Los Angeles franchise already in the league, this would be the perfect opportunity for a rivalry. Additionally, San Diego has serious ties to the military – the Navy, in particular. Having a landing spot for the many talented Navy Football players on whom the NFL passed would help further cement the XFL’s standing with the military. San Diego is the third of four teams in the West Division.
This blog post is the seventh installment of an eight-part Nachmany Football series on our newly created XFL Blog in which we will try to create rosters for each team. The only way for the XFL to succeed is for its teams to bring in high-quality, marketable talent to play in the league.
In a recent long-form column, we laid out a roadmap to success for the XFL. If you want to read that piece, it provides an exhaustive analysis of the league’s potential pitfalls and opportunities for success, and you can check it out here. As it pertains to this series, we lay out eight cities in the United States where it would make sense to place a team, as well as identifying a talent pool that would make sense from the standpoint of recruiting.
Below is a roster from across the spectrum of recommended talent for the league: NFL free agents, star college football players who will not be eligible for the NFL (and therefore compensation), top-flight international and U.S. rugby players, and former service academy football players (Army, Navy, and Air Force). We tried to place players where they have some sort of tie to the geographic region, but if that was not possible, we looked for the best fit given their personality or background. For NCAA players, we list in parenthesis the class year they would forgo to prepare for XFL play during the fall of 2019.
Continuing on the topic of NCAA players, raiding the college ranks USFL-style is the perfect way to generate buzz and bring in some of the top talent in football – the fact that these college players are not paid, despite their play generating billions of dollars in broadcast revenue, is a significant market gap. Imagine if the XFL started poaching Heisman winners before the NFL even had a crack at them.
After looking at the roster, we will discuss the makeup of the team. Make sure to follow our parent Twitter account @NachFootball and our XFL blogging account @XFLBlog, where we will be posting this, so we can continue the conversation. Also, subscribe to our Nachmany Football YouTube channel for video content throughout the football year.
QB Robert Griffin III (NFL Free Agent)
RB1 Najee Harris (NCAA Junior)
RB2 Lache Seastrunk (NFL Free Agent)
WR1 Keenan Reynolds (Navy Football/NFL Free Agent)
WR2 Zack Test (USA Rugby)
WR3 Jalen Reagor (NCAA Junior)
TE Hunter Bryant (NCAA Junior)
LT Garrett Scott (NFL Free Agent)
LG Blake Copeland (Navy Football)
C Brett Neilon (NCAA Junior)
RG Evan Martin (Navy Football)
RT Aaron Banks (NCAA Junior)
EDGE Ben Gardner (NFL Free Agent)
DT Will Sutton (NFL Free Agent)
DT Jarvis Polu (Navy Football)
EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (NCAA Freshman)
LB D.J. Palmore (Navy Football)
LB Daniel Gonzales (Navy Football)
LB Micah Thomas (Navy Football)
CB Jaylon Johnson (NCAA Junior)
FS Grant Delpit (NCAA Junior)
SS Jesse Washington (Air Force Football)
CB Dwight Bentley (NFL Free Agent)
Robert Griffin III returns to football! Some forget that he actually comes from a military family (granted, Army) and was, as such, born in Okinawa, Japan. Lache Seastrunk follows Griffin to San Diego in a Baylor reunion, while former Navy Football man Keenan Reynolds joins the team as well. San Diego has some serious firepower: RG3, Reynolds, Alabama star Najee Harris, and USA Rugby’s Zack Test (a 6-foot-4 playmaker who is difficult to stop on the rugby pitch).
Defensively, San Diego’s team features three Navy Football players at linebacker, as well as another Navy player up front in Jarvis Polu. A few NFL players, like Will Sutton and Dwight Bentley, add much-needed professional experience to a unit that lacks seasoning. One player to watch is Kayvon Thibodeaux, currently a high schooler, who could be the top EDGE in his class when he ends up entering the NCAA.