PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Former Nittany Lions We Want To See In The XFL

The XFL is back and better than ever, baby. Vince McMahon, founder and chairman of the WWE, made it official last Thursday when he announced the new and improved league will return in January 2020. This go-around, McMahon plans to drop the gimmicks and focus instead on fan-centric football action…whatever that means.

If fan input is what McMahon wants, then fan input he shall get. There’s one thing the XFL needs if it’s going to succeed this time around: some former Nittany Lions. Penn State football players are to professional football what cowbell is to Christopher Walken’s Bruce Dickinson — the more, the better. 

Thus, here are some former, and soon-to-be former, Penn Staters we’d like to see in the XFL.

Christian Hackenberg

Let’s face it. Hack hasn’t been able to cut it in the NFL. In his two seasons with the Jets, he’s been at the bottom of a pretty horrendous quarterback depth chart. Enter his saving grace: the XFL. Decrease the talent of the competition, give him a relatively solid offensive line for once, and boom, Hackenberg is the XFL’s next big thing. He may not put up the same numbers he used to in his three years in Happy Valley, but he should be a serviceable franchise quarterback in McMahon’s league. At the very least, he’ll be able to outperform his NFL regular season totals (all of which are zeros because he has yet to take a snap).

Devon Still

Devon Still is a perfect fit for the XFL. The league will, almost without a doubt, be driven by storylines and marketable players. In 2014, Still’s heartfelt story of his daughter’s fight with pediatric cancer made national news. Since then, Lia has won her battle with cancer, but the 28-year old defensive end retired this season when he couldn’t secure a roster spot. Nonetheless, the former Nittany Lion lineman is a personable character with nearly four seasons of NFL experience, which will make him a great roster option for any XFL team.

Shawn Oakman

People forget Oakman was originally a Nittany Lion long before he was immortalized as a meme during his time at Baylor. He may have been dismissed from Penn State for shoplifting and a violation of team rules, but as a former Nittany Lion, he still fits this list. He would be a perfect fit for the XFL, even if solely because of that meme. One major problem for Oakman is a pending sexual assault trial in Waco, TX. Even if he is found not guilty, Vince McMahon said he doesn’t want players with a criminal record. Therefore, that shoplifting conviction will come back to hurt him again. That is, unless Oakman has anything to say about it…

Vince McMahon: No players with a criminal record.

Shawn Oakman: *clears throat*

Vince McMahon: I’ll make an exception.

If McMahon can’t make Oakman happen, the Fiesta Bowl ref is nearly as intimidating and should do.

Ki-Jana Carter

Largely considered one of the biggest NFL draft busts of all time, Ki-Jana Carter will have something to prove in the new XFL. Sure, he may be 20 years removed from his prime, but that’s the beauty of the XFL. At the end of the day, it’s all about entertainment. Watching a 46-year-old, former first overall NFL draft pick make some attempt at a pro football comeback? Now that’s entertainment.

Saquon Barkley

We haven’t really worked out the logistics of this one, but we pretty much want to see Saquon become the XFL’s version of the USFL’s Herschel Walker. Walker left college early to sign pro football’s largest contract ever with the USFL in 1983. In his three seasons in the league before going to the NFL, he posted an astonishing 7,046 total yards. Barkley’s case is a little different, as he will more than likely be under contract for the league’s premiere season. Therefore, Vince McMahon would have to dig deep into his pockets if he ever wants to sway Barkley to be the face of his league. Besides, that’s even if the league survives past its inaugural year this time. As far-fetched as it might be, it would be fun to see what Saquon could do in a few years competing against the pro football league equivalent of Rutgers. Did someone say 2,500-yard season?

Trace McSorley

The case for McSorley in the XFL is actually somewhat compelling. If he doesn’t improve his NFL draft stock by the end of next season, he might legitimately consider McMahon’s league instead. It seems as though the XFL would provide a safe haven for good college quarterbacks who don’t pan out in the NFL. Tim Tebow XFL rumors are already floating around, Johnny Manziel wants in, and McSorley would fit in with the likes of these standout college quarterbacks. Depending on his draft stock and his available offers from both leagues, it wouldn’t surprise me to see McSorley turn down a late-round contract and opt for the XFL instead. If not, he may stick around in the NFL for a few years before ultimately landing in the XFL anyway (again, if it’s still around by then).

About the Author

Anthony Fiset

Anthony is a sophomore majoring in Economics. He, like many others, is from right outside of Philly, and by right outside of Philly he means Pittsburgh. He is a lifetime Costco Executive Member who enjoys spending quality time on the couch with his dog, Sparkle. You can call him, beep him if you wanna reach him at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @antnyfst.


More by Anthony

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Penn State Baseball Loses Lone Game In Pittsburgh

We Are…’Eatin’ With Heaton’


Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Longtime Cal athletics employee Mohamed Muqtar was accused by seven former Golden Bears student-athletes of sexual violence and harassment dating back 20 years prior to his firing on May 11. An internal investigation from the school substantiated those claims.

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend