Football fans clamoring for more games will get their wish starting today.
At 2 p.m. ET, the Seattle Dragons and D.C. Defenders will kick off the second rendition of the XFL, professional wrestling legend Vince McMahon’s football lovechild.
The league — which features eight teams and plays football with rules similar but slightly different to the NFL — such like its NFL counterpart, features a number of former Michigan Wolverines.
Four former Michigan players were drafted during the XFL’s player draft in October. Two more players have signed with teams since then. Below is a breakdown of each player and their role with their respective team.
De’Veon Smith - RB - Tampa Bay Vipers
Former Wolverine De’Veon Smith is listed atop the Tampa Bay Vipers depth chart at running back. Smith is a physical runner, and showed that at times during his career in Ann Arbor.
Smith went undrafted in the 2017 NFL draft but signed with the Miami Dolphins. His NFL career didn’t amount to much; he caught three passes for 27 yards but never tallied an NFL carry. In 2018, he found his way on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad before eventually being waived.
The 2019 campaign saw Smith catch up the Alliance of American Football — a league that closed abruptly without finishing its inaugural season. Smith was snagged by the Vipers in the third round of the XFL draft.
William Campbell - Guard - Seattle Dragons
William Campbell is listed as the backup left guard for the Seattle Dragons. A Detroit native, Campbell’s professional career has carried him all over the place, as he has suited up for seven teams and is actually already onto his second XFL team.
A former five-star recruit, Campbell’s career at Michigan never lived up to the hype that came with him. He was recruited as a defensive tackle, flipped between offensive and defense a bit, before improving later in his career.
The New York Jets selected Campbell in the sixth round of the NFL draft in 2013. He was released a year later. Then the carousal began with the Bills; the Packers; the Titans; the Toronto Argonauts; the Tampa Bay Vipers and now the Seattle Dragons.
Channing Stribling - CB - Seattle Dragons
Stribling is Part A of the Seattle Dragons starting corners, as he and Jeremy Clark are listed as the team’s starting corners.
Stribling has made his way around several practice squads in the NFL. He split 2017 between the Browns the Colts and the 49ers, and then spent 2018 with the Colts and the Chargers. His 2019 campaign was spent in the AAF and then in the Canadian Football League.
Jeremy Clark - CB - Seattle Dragons
Clark is Part B of the Dragons corners. was a sixth-round pick of the New York Jets in the 2017 NFL draft. He played a couple of seasons with the Jets, but spent nearly all of his time on injury lists and not on the field.
Now healthy, Clark is hoping to stay on the field a bit longer with the Dragons.
Juwann Bushell-Beatty - Tackle - Houston Roughnecks
Juwann Bushell-Beatty came to Michigan as a four-star talent, but he was passed over in the 2019 draft. He jumped on the Washington Redskins practice squad before eventually they cut ties with him.
The former Wolverines was drafted in the ninth round by of the XFL draft by St. Louis Battlehawks, before being traded to the Roughnecks.
Bushell-Beatty is not listed on Houston’s two-deep depth chart.
Tyree Kinnel - Safety - DC Defenders
Kinnel is a former four-star recruit who, like Bushell-Beatty, left Michigan only to go undrafted. He signed with the Bengals afterward.
DC picked up Kinnel in the eighth round. He is listed as a backup safety on the team’s depth chart.