Know Your Opponent: The Dallas Renegades
You know your BattleHawks, but when St. Louis opens its season in Dallas on Sunday, you need to make sure you know the opponent too. Here are the Renegades players that you need to be aware of before the game kicks off.
The biggest question mark heading into Sunday is Landry Jones. The QB out of Oklahoma was the first player signed to the XFL and has one of the most impressive resumes in the league. He's a skilled passer and his relationship with Bob Stoops and familiarity with that system makes him all the more dangerous.
However, Jones injured his knee at the beginning of training camp and was estimated to be out 4-6 weeks. Feb. 9 will be almost five weeks after the injury. Jones has been listed as a limited participant in practice.
If Jones is unable to go, quarterback Philip Nelson took most of the snaps in training camp and would be the presumed starter. Nelson played his college ball at Minnesota for two seasons and one at East Carolina for his senior year. He played four games in the AAF for the San Diego Fleet, starting three, before an injury cut his season short.
Jeff Badet had been getting the most press during training camp, for both his performance and his visor game. The wideout spent three years at Kentucky and one at Oklahoma where he amassed over 1,700 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Badet was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings and sported a blazing fast 4.27 second 40-yard-dash and was signed to a futures contract, but was cut before the 2019 season.
College football fans will remember the name Cameron Artis-Payne. A former Auburn standout, Artis-Payne rushed for over 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior season with the Tigers en route to getting drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He played with the Panthers for four years, averaging 4.2 YPC and scoring five touchdowns.
Free safety Derron Smith out of Fresno State is a ballhawk. He had 16 interceptions in his college career and was drafted in the sixth round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Eventually, Smith ended up on the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF where he led the league in interceptions. The BattleHawks will need to be careful when throwing to his side of the field.
Greer Martini is one of the defensive leaders for the Renegades. He played for Notre Dame in college where he amassed almost 200 tackles over his career. Martini played for the Salt Lake Stallions of the AAF and was fifth in the league in tackles. He's an athletic defender who has the ability to make impressive plays like this.
Catch the St. Louis BattleHawks as they go up against these players and the rest of the Dallas Renegades when they face off on Sun., Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. CT on ESPN.