BIG PLAYS

Five Players to Watch in Week 1 of the XFL

Five players to watch as the XFL season is about to begin

Photo Courtesy of Octavio Jones, Tampa Bay Times via AP

This weekend sees the return of the XFL, this time more about the football and experience than the shock value of the original. There is a lot to be excited for and in this article, I am going to lay out the five players I’m looking forward to seeing in action this weekend and beyond.

Aaron Murray, QB, Tampa Bay Vipers

Murray has been coached by some excellent coaches and that will continue with the Vipers and head coach Marc Trestman. Trestman has a long history of coaching quarterbacks and has gotten the best out of some who would not be considered top-tier like Scott Mitchell and Jake Plummer. Murray has the opportunity to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league thanks to Trestman’s coaching.

Nelson Spruce, WR, Los Angeles Wildcats

Spruce is one of many players in the XFL who was previously with the AAF. Due to the lack of the AAF’s success, Spruce didn’t get the opportunity to show what he can do. Playing with quarterback Josh Johnson, it will be interesting to see how many different ways the Wildcats can find to get Spruce the ball.

Matt McGloin, QB, New York Guardians

Quarterbacks are always interesting to watch and McGloin is no exception. He played at Penn State from 2009 – 2012 where he threw for 46 touchdowns, which ranks second all-time in Penn State history. His NFL career didn’t go well as he threw for just 1,868 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his career. If McGloin can’t get the job done, backup Luis Perez, who made a name for himself in the AAF is a more than capable backup.

Kasen Williams, WR, Seattle Dragons

Williams had a short and undistinguished NFL career, although coming out of high school he was a five-star recruit. He showed some promise with the Seattle Seahawks but was waived after the 2017 preseason. Sometimes when highly touted recruits don’t live up to the hype a change like joining a new league can be a big boost. If Williams can have that boost he may be in line for the best season by a wide receiver.

A.J. Tarpley, LB, DC Defenders

Tarpley played for the Buffalo Bills in 2015 and the San Diego Fleet of the AAF in 2019. With the XFL, this is probably Tarpley’s last opportunity to play football. His position coach with the Defenders is former NFL linebacker Kurt Gouveia, who overachieved in his NFL career. Gouveia might be the perfect coach to get the best out of Tarpley, who showed good instincts in his stint in the AAF.

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