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Players to Watch for 2020 season

XFL Training Camp: Week 1 Highlights

HOUSTON -- With XFL Training Camp at the halfway point, each team's roster is beginning to take shape, and star players are emerging.

Aside from the big names many XFL fans may know, here's a list of players who can help define a winning season for each XFL team.


DC Defenders

Jhurell Pressley, RB, New Mexico
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State

While the Defenders are led by two talented passers in Cardale Jones and Tyree Jackson and boast a host of skilled receivers, the running backs could make them one of the most diverse offenses in the XFL.

Pressley is an explosive yet decisive runner who has found great timing and pace behind the Defenders' strong offensive line. Pumphrey, a 2017 fourth-round NFL Draft pick, can work well out of the backfield as a receiver and in-space runner.

These two are poised to give DC the versatility to create big plays all over the field.

New York Guardians

Jamar Summers, CB, Connecticut

The Guardians have a complete defense, with few weaknesses at any position when fully healthy, and the shutdown corner is their biggest upside player.

A multi-year NFL cornerback, Summers has outstanding fluidity and read-react skill as a defender and plays with great anticipation and ball-hawking.

He showcased his potential during Wednesday's scrimmage, returning an interception of Cardale Jones for a touchdown. His ability to eliminate a top receiver should make him one of the XFL's most impactful defenders.

St. Louis BattleHawks

Carlton Agudosi, WR, Rutgers
L’Damian Washington, WR, Missouri

The BattleHawks have the biggest roster on both sides of the ball, in terms of pure height and physical presence, especially at wide receiver.

Agudosi (6-foot-6) and Washington (6-4) are two of the biggest receivers in the XFL. With ample NFL experience and athleticism, they can separate from defenders thanks to their speed and size.

The BattleHawks want to be a downhill running team, likely led by Christine Michael, that can also win with size on the perimeter. Agudosi and Washington will pressure defenses on third down, late in drives, and inside the 20.

Tampa Bay Vipers

Nick Truesdell, TE, Grand Rapids CC

Despite being the Vipers' first pick in the XFL Draft's skill position phase, Truesdell may still be an under-the-radar player, having attended a small school.

But the Tampa Bay offense clearly runs through him. He's too smooth and athletic to be vertically slowed by linebackers, and too physical not to consistently win against safeties. His matchup upside forces defenses to adjust, giving quarterback Aaron Murray more options on the outside.

Expect Truesdell to be one of XFL's best pass-catching tight ends -- if not the best.


Dallas Renegades

Jazz Ferguson, WR, Northwestern State 
Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma

The Bob Stoops-coached Renegades will stick to his roots as a strong defensive team, but the Hal Mumme-led offense features two of the best, and most complementary, receivers for an XFL team.

Ferguson is a physically imposing, outstanding-in-air receiver who is a consistent threat on third downs and in the red zone. Badet, formerly with the Minnesota Vikings, has the elite change-of-direction and acceleration after the catch to clear big plays across the field.

Whoever is playing quarterback for the Renegades will have plenty of firepower to utilize.

Houston Roughnecks

Ajene Harris, CB, USC

With June Jones as the head coach, the Roughnecks should have a high-octane offense. But their defense will make them a championship contender.

Adding to a bevy of talent in the front seven, the versatile Harris has shown the rare anticipation and playmaking ability to be a difference-maker in the secondary, and he can finish as a big-play hitter.

He's a top defender to watch as the aggressive Roughnecks defense looks to prevent games from becoming shootouts. 

Los Angeles Wildcats

Winston Dimel, FB, Kansas State

The fullback position is slowly fading in the NFL, but it makes up a big part of what the Wildcats want to do during their possessions.

Dimel can work as a true fullback, an H-back, a tight end, and a slot receiver in Norm Chow's system.

His highly effective run-blocking and potential to be a matchup weapon in the passing game make him the most important factor in the success of the Wildcats offense. 

Seattle Dragons

Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU
Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State

Despite being led by offensive-minded head coach Jim Zorn, the Dragons have a strong defensive front that can rush the passer and finish on the quarterback.

Maponga has the edge burst and pass-rush prowess to easily gain separation en route to the quarterback. Sutton is too quick and explosive in penetrating the interior for most guards and centers to handle.

Seattle's front seven will give offensive coordinators and quarterbacks a tough week of preparation.