Football doesn't end when Super Bowl LVII concludes on February 12, 2023. The season will be extended a while longer when the XFL returns to play the following weekend.
With eight teams based around the country and the league now being run by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, among other partners, there's some legitimate optimism that the startup will find success.
The XFL has been taking incremental steps in building coaching staffs and rosters for teams leading up to kickoff next year. Last week, the league held a three-day draft that began with quarterbacks being selected by each franchise. Day two and day three featured a variety of offensive and defensive position groupings as well as a focus on special teams.
By the conclusion of the event, five former Seminoles had heard their names called in the draft.
Former Florida State running back and Cincinnati Bengals practice squad player Jacques Patrick was drafted in the first round with the No. 3 overall selection by the San Antonio Brahmahs. Former Baylor running back Abram Smith (DC) and former Oklahoma State wide receiver Marcell Ateman (STL) were the two players taken above Patrick, who's spent the last two seasons with the Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, and Baltimore Ravens.
The St. Louis Battle Hawks selected offensive lineman Jay Williams in the fourth round of the offensive line portion of the draft. Each position group had 11 different rounds. Williams signed with Florida State after a stint in Junior College but ended up finishing his collegiate career at FAMU. Williams was named second-team All-SWAC in 2021.
Led by Seminole legend and head coach, Terrell Buckley, the Orlando Guardians ended up making a heavy investment in players with ties to Florida State. The Guardians selected quarterback Deondre Francois on day one. Orlando also drafted linebacker Terrance Smith in the sixth round and linebacker DeCalon Brooks in the eleventh round of the defensive front portion of the draft.
Francois concluded his college career at Hampton after being dismissed by the Seminoles in 2019. He's spent time in the Fan Controlled Football league and The Spring League since then. Smith stuck around in the NFL until last season. He signed with the Ottawa Redblacks of the CFL earlier this year. Brooks went undrafted after declaring for the NFL Draft following the 2021 season
With the draft complete, the next stage for the XFL will be the beginning of training camp in January. The ultimate goal is for the league to have players called up by the NFL. It should also provide an intriguing avenue for football-starved fans who don't want to let the sport go prior to the long waiting period until the following August.
Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the season.