Seven former Rebels enter the XFL Draft pool

Published 8:23 pm Friday, October 11, 2019

The XFL is set to make its return 19 years after it folded following one season, but first the eight teams must fill their rosters. That will take place on Oct. 15-16 with the XFL Draft.

The draft pool includes 600 former college football, NFL and Alliance of American Football (AAF) players. Of those 600 players, seven former Ole Miss Rebels threw their name into the hat.

Trae Elston, DeMarquis Gates, Christian Morris, Jeremy Liggins, Channing Ward, Floyd Allen and Gerald Rivers all accepted the XFL’s draft invitation in hopes to continue their football careers.

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Gates last played for the Memphis Express as part of the AAF, which had their season shortened by two games after the league folded due to financial issues. After the AAF shut its doors, the linebacker signed with the Washington Redskins in April, but was released by the organization in June.

Morris was also a member of the Express’s roster.

The last time Elston was seen on a football field was in 2017 with the Philadelpia Eagles. The Eagles re-signed Elston in June but waived him during fall camp roster cuts on Aug. 31.

Liggins, the former Lafayette Commodores standout, was released by the New Orleans Saints in January of last year. Liggins never saw a snap in the NFL.

Ward spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2016-17), playing in six games and starting in one. He recorded a total of five tackles. In July of last year, Ward sustained a patellar tendon tear while working out in Mississippi and the Buccaneers placed him on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. Last September the Buccaneers waived Ward.

Rivers was a member of seven NFL teams. He signed with the then-St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2013  but was later released in December of that year. The former Rebel linebacker has since played three seasons in the Canadian Football League.

After signing with his hometown team the Houston Texas in May, Allen was cut by the Texans during fall camp. He has another chance to play on the gridiron this spring if drafted.

The XFL shut its doors in the summer of 2001 after one season. World Wrestling Entertainment and NBC lost $35 on the XFL and WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon eventually conceded the endeavor into football was a “colossal failure.”

In 2018, McMahon announced he was reviving the XFL brand and the first season would take place in the spring of 2020. The league will have teams in Dallas, Washington D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle and Tampa Bay. Games will begin being played in February.

The XFL Draft will take place via a teleconference and picks will be announced across all XFL social media accounts.