On Tuesday and Wednesday, the XFL conducted its first ever player draft since the league was announced on Jan. 25, 2018. Throughout the two days, six different former Maryland football players were selected.
The draft was a bit unorthodox and consisted of five separate phases.
- Phase 1; Skill Players
- Phase 2: Offensive Line
- Phase 3: Defensive Front Seven
- Phase 4: Defensive Backs
- Phase 5: Open Draft
The latter two phases took place on Wednesday afternoon, and that’s where the majority of Terps were taken. In total, the six College Park alumni were drafted by five different teams, giving Maryland football fans interested in the league a number of options for a potential favorite team.
Without further ado, let’s see where the former Maryland players wound up.
Maryland selection: Tre Watson (Phase 5, Round 8)
Despite being in College Park for just one season, Watson endeared himself to Terps fans with his standout play and fun-loving attitude. In 11 games for Maryland, Watson led the Big Ten in tackles per game and interceptions, finishing with 104 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, five picks, eight pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
It was a relatively surprising turn of events when Watson went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he seemed to be ready to sign with the Washington Redskins before flipping to the Miami Dolphins at the last minute. Many projected him to make the 53-man roster, but he was ultimately cut following the preseason.
Head coach: Bob Stoops - former Oklahoma Sooners head coach
Notable players: QB Landry Jones, QB Philip Nelson, WR TommyLee Lewis, RB Cameron Artis-Payne
Maryland selection: Levern Jacobs III (Phase 5, Round 13)
Jacobs began his Maryland career in 2012, playing often in his first two seasons before being suspended for (and subsequently found not-guilty of) assault in 2014. He wound up taking a redshirt, coming back to start for the Terps in ‘15 and ‘16.
He finished his playing days with 46 games played, 22 starts, 130 catches, 1,554 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. He went undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, earning a preseason roster spot with the Washington Redskins.
Jacobs most recently played for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, and now he’ll get another opportunity to play professional football in the United States, perhaps finding a way to catch the eye of NFL scouts.
Head coach: Pep Hamilton - former Michigan Wolverines assistant head coach
Notable players: QB Cardale Jones, QB Tyree Jackson, WR Tre McBride, S Rahim Moore
Los Angeles Wildcats
Maryland selections: OL Damian Prince (Phase 5, Round 3), K Nick Novak (Phase 5, Round 9)
Prince arrived at Maryland in 2013, taking a redshirt season before becoming a starter for the final four years of his career. He played 43 games for the Terps, including 39 starts, before graduating after the 2018 season.
Like many on this list, Prince was undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, signing on with the Pittsburgh Steelers a couple weeks after. There were some who said he could potentially crack the 53-man roster, but he was waived following the final preseason game of the year.
Novak, on the other hand, is a seasoned NFL vet who wrapped up his Terps career in 2004. He went undrafted in the 2005 draft, but he has played for eight different NFL franchises and played in NFL Europe, the United Football League and the Alliance of American football.
He most recently played with the Birmingham Iron alongside fellow Terp alum Michael Dunn, as the 38-year-old is still trying to make it back to the NFL, where he’s excelled in the past.
Head coach: Winston Moss - former Green Bay Packers assistant head coach
Notable players: QB Luis Perez, DL Shawn Oakman, WR Rashad Ross
New York Guardians
Maryland selection: DL Cavon Walker (Phase 3, Round 8)
Walker stepped onto the College Park campus in 2013 as a freshman, appearing in every game that season. An injury derailed his 2014 campaign, but for the final three years of his collegiate career, Walker made an impact on Maryland’s front seven.
He finished his time in Maryland with 90 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, four pass breakups and a forced fumble in 50 appearances.
After going undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, Walker spent time in the preseason with the Chicago Bears in 2018 and Kansas City Chiefs this summer. He’ll now get an opportunity to showcase his talent in the XFL.
Head coach: Kevin Gilbride - former San Diego Chargers head coach
Notable players: QB Matt McGloin, QB Marquise Williams, FB Tommy Bohanon
Maryland selection: OL Michael Dunn (Phase 2, Round 6)
Dunn came to College Park in 2012, taking a redshirt season immediately before becoming a full-time starter for four years. In his collegiate career, Dunn started 48 games for the Terps, blocking for guys like C.J. Brown, Brandon Ross, Ty Johnson, Lorenzo Harrison III and more.
After going undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, Dunn found a training camp spot with the Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins looking to break onto a 53-man active roster.
That never culminated for Dunn, who has appeared in four preseason games a season but has never reached beyond that point. He did find a home with the Birmingham Iron of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football, paving the way for NFL bust Trent Richardson.
Head coach: Jim Zorn - former Washington Redskins head coach
Notable players: QB Brandon Silvers, CB Sterling Moore, DT Will Sutton, WR Keenan Reynolds