Several Former Aggies Named to XFL Rosters

Cole Thompson

COLLEGE STATION - Playing careers for any athletes will never want to end. For football players, perhaps they won't have to after the NFL.

The XFL will make its return after a near 20-year hiatus later next month. Eight teams will be a part of the inaugural season, representing the birth of a new football league to help keep the game alive. XFL CEO, Oliver Luck, believes with the start of a new decade, a new football league will emerge as a contender for the future.

"There are some innovations but we think they make some sense," Luck told USA TODAY Sports earlier this month. "And we think they’re grounded in a very sound rationale, whether it’s health and safety or allowing us to play more up-tempo. We think traditional football fans will say, 'Hey, these are some pretty good ideas. I kind of like that.'"

On Monday, the league announced the final 52-man rosters for every team heading into February 8 kickoff when the Seattle Dragons will take on the D.C. Defenders. Texas A&M, known for its ability to create NFL-caliber players during their days in College Station, will be represented by three teams this season.

Five former Aggies will suit up for the start of the 2020 season in the XFL. Running backs Trey Williams (Seattle), Christine Michael (St.Louis) and Keith Ford (St.Louis), along with tight end Cam Clear (Seattle) and offensive tackle Avery Gennessey will make their debuts next month. Both Williams and Michael were first-round selections in the XFL's inaugural draft last October.

Michael, one of the Aggies premier rushers in the 2010s, was selected with the sixth overall selection by the St. Louis Battlehawks. During his four seasons in College Station, Michael would finish with 2,791 rushing yards, 323 receiving yards and 35 career touchdowns. The Seattle Seahawks would select him with the 62nd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

During his five-year career in the pro's, Michael would finish with 1,089 total rushing yards, 135 receiving yards and eight total touchdowns. Most recently, the 29-year-old would play for the Indianapolis Colts during the 2018 season.

Williams, a former five-star recruit from Spring, Texas, was drafted seventh overall by the Dragons. Named to the All-SEC freshman roster in 2012, the shifty runner became a focal point of the Aggies' special teams game during his three-year stint. Williams would finish his time with the maroon and white with 1,343 rushing yards, 330 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Williams would forgo his final season at A&M and declare for the NFL Draft in 2015. He would go undrafted and play for multiple teams, including the Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. The 5-foot-9 running back would play for the San Antonio Commanders in the now-debunked AAF.

Ford transferred to College Station after two seasons under Bob Stoops in Oklahoma. During his two seasons with the Aggies, the Battlehawks running back would rush for 1,217 yards, collect 185 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. Ford was a member of the Green Bay Packers offseason roster. Clear spent one season with the program, where he recorded nine catches for 76 yards and touchdowns. He was also a member of the Commanders' roster last season in the AAF.

Gennesy played multiple positions for the Aggies in his two years as a starter. At both tackle positions, he would go undrafted in 2017 and moving to guard. Gennesy would play with both the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles before joining the Atlanta Legends in the AAF last spring. The Houston Roughnecks selected him in the offensive line portion of the XFL Draft during the fifth round.

The league will begin on February 8, with a 10-game season expected to place during the first season.