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How the 2020 Defenders got here

The DC Defenders will make history on Saturday, Feb. 8 when they host the Seattle Dragons at Audi Field in the first game of the 2020 XFL season.

With the XFL Draft in the books and mini-camp just around the corner, it’s time to get to know the players you will be cheering for come Week 1 of the XFL season.

The Defenders’ 70-man roster is made up of National Champions at the FBS, FCS, DII and DIII levels, Super Bowl champions and Grey Cup champions -- including names from 26 different states and three countries.

NFL Experience

60 of the 70 players on the DC Defenders roster have been a part of an NFL organization. The Miami Dolphins are the only NFL team to not have a former player on the DC Defenders roster.

  • 9 Giants
  • 8 Bills, Browns, Eagles, Saints
  • 7 Bears
  • 6 Panthers, Texans
  • 5 Lions, Jaguars, Packers, Patriots, Raiders
  • 4 Bengals, Chargers, Chiefs, Jets, Ravens, Titans, Redskins
  • 3 Buccaneers, Cowboys, Falcons, Seahawks, Steelers
  • 2 Broncos, Cardinals, Colts, Rams, Vikings
  • 1 49ers
  • 0 Dolphins

NFL Draft picks

Of the 70 players on the DC Defenders roster, 13 were selected in the NFL Draft. 

Round 1: S Matt Elam (No. 32, Ravens. 2013)

Round 2: CB Rahim Moore (No. 45, Broncos. 2011)

Round 3: DE Sam Montgomery (No. 95, Texans. 2013)

Round 4: TE Orson Charles (No. 116, Bengals. 2012), CB Doran Grant (No. 121, Steelers. 2015), RB Donnel Pumphrey (No. 132, Eagles. 2017), QB Cardale Jones (No. 139, Bills. 2016)

Round 5: None

Round 6: OT Kyle Murphy (No. 200, Packers. 2016), DT Kristjan Sokoli (No. 214, Seahawks. 2015), DT Elijah Qualls (No. 214, Eagles. 2017)

Round 7: CB Jalen Myrick (No. 222, Jaguars. 2017), WR Tre McBride (No. 245, Titans. 2015), LB Scooby Wright (No. 250, Browns. 2016)

The 70 players on the DC Defenders represent 54 different programs for all levels of collegiate football.

57 of the 70 Defenders played for FBS programs, with 39 different teams represented. The Defenders roster features 12 players from 10 different FCS (I-AA) programs, four players from four different DIII and one DII player.

Colleges with multiple players represented

Buffalo (4): DE Charles Harris, QB Tyree Jackson, C James O’Hagan, DT Kristjan Sokoli

Ohio State (4): OG Chase Farris, CB Doran Grant, QB Cardale Jones, DT Tracy Sprinkle

Stanford (4): OT Kyle Murphy, LB AJ Tarpley, LB James Vaughters, OT Casey Tucker

Penn State (3): LB Koa Farmer, RB John Thomas, WR De’Andre Thompkins

James Madison (3): RB Khalid Abdullah, WR Terrence Alls, WR Rashard Davids

Georgia Tech (2): DE KeShun Freeman, WR Justin Thomas

Minnesota (2): LB Jonathan Celestin, CB Jalen Myrick

Alabama (2): WR Richard Mullaney, CB Bradley Sylve

Kentucky (2): LB Jordan Jones, C Jon Toth

LSU (2): DE Sam Montgomery, OT Toby Weathersby

Conferences with multiple teams represented

AAC: Cincinnati, Temple

ACC: Georgia Tech (2), Clemson, Duke, Louisville, Miami, NC State, North Carolina, Syracuse

Big Ten: Ohio State (4), Penn State (3), Minnesota (2), Maryland, Michigan, Northwestern 

CAA (FCS): James Madison (3), Towson, William & Mary

C-USA: Marshall, UAB, UTEP

MWC: Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State

MVC (FCS): Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa

Pac-12: Stanford (4), Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Southern Cal, UCLA, Washington

SEC: Alabama (2), Kentucky (2), LSU (2), Florida, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina