New XFL adds quite a few local names during inaugural draft

Auburn defensive back Javaris Davis, an Ed White High product, celebrates after a big play during a game against Louisiana Monroe. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) (Michael Chang, 2017 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The new XFL added quite a few local names to its upstart league this week.

Six players who played high school football at area schools, and dozens more with regional ties, heard their names called during the draft on Thursday. Roger Cray (Columbia), Javaris Davis (White High), Willie Harvey (Menendez), Chris Jones (Sandalwood), Terrance Plummer (Orange Park) and Kevin Toliver II (Trinity Christian) were all selected in the XFL draft.

So, too, was former JU quarterback Calvin Turner, who transferred to Hawaii after the Dolphins program folded. The eight-team league is the second iteration of the league started by former WWE front man Vince McMahon.

The league is now paced by Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson and Gerry Cardinale.

The new franchises — Arlington Renegades, D.C. Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, Orlando Guardians, San Antonio Brahmas, Seattle Sea Dragons, St. Louis Battlehawks and Vegas Vipers — are slated to kick off on Feb. 18, 2023.

The Orlando franchise has some local ties on its coaching staff, including former Florida State cornerback Terrell Buckley as its head coach and former Mandarin High star Tony Carter as its defensive coordinator and former Nease High coach and ex-Gators quarterback Shane Matthews as the QB coach.

Notable local XFL draft selections

Pos., Player, XFL team, Local tie

DB Roger Cray, Seattle, Columbia

DB Javaris Davis, Orlando, White High

LB Willie Harvey, St. Louis, Menendez

DB Chris Jones, Seattle, Sandalwood

LB Terrance Plummer, Orlando, Orange Park

DB Kevin Toliver II, Houston, Trinity Christian

RB Calvin Turner, San Antonio, JU

Notable regional XFL draft selections

Pos., Player, XFL team, Local/regional tie

RB Ryquell Armstead, D.C., Jaguars

CB Luq Barcoo, San Antonio, Jaguars

LB DeCalon Brooks, Orlando, Seminoles

DL Doug Costin, Arlington, Jaguars

DB Matt Elam, Orlando, Gators

TE Deandre Goolsby, San Antonio, Gators

WR Josh Hammond, D.C., Gators

OL D’Marcus Hayes, D.C., Bulldogs

DB Will Hill, Arlington, Gators

RB Matt Jones, Vegas, Gators

OL Garrett McGhin, Arlington, Jaguars

DB Quenton Meeks, St. Louis, Jaguars

DB Maurice Smith, Vegas, Bulldogs

LB Terrance Smith, Orlando, Seminoles

WR Lujuan Winningham, Arlington, Jaguars

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.