The 2023 XFL season has begun, and there are some players who casual football fans will recognize. That's because some of them were once in the league, or they happened to be college standouts back in the day.
Here, we will look at the first category as we showcase three former college football stars competing in the 2023 XFL. Let's take a trip down memory lane.
Three Popular Ex-College Football Players in 2023 XFL
Here are three such players:
#3 Ben DiNucci, Quarterback, Seattle Sea Dragons
Ben DiNucci is the starting quarterback for the Seattle Sea Dragons, and casual football fans can probably remember him from his time with the Dallas Cowboys.
DiNucci was a backup for the likes of Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton, but he still gave a good account of himself in Dallas. He made 23 of 43 passes for 219 passing yards and ran for 22 yards while being sacked seven times.
However, his Dallas stats pale compared to his college stats, which still look good today. DiNucci was a baller for James Madison and put up the numbers to back up his status. He racked up 5,716 passing yards and 45 passing touchdowns during his time in the school. He ranked fourth overall in both categories.
#2 Josh Gordon, Wide Receiver, Seattle Sea Dragons
Josh Gordon has always been a star on the gridiron, but his career hasn't reached the heights that it should have due to his frequent substance abuse issues. These issues didn't start recently, as they can be traced back to his college days.
Gordon played college football for Baylor University and was easily the best wideout on the team. Despite numerous division one offers, he chose the team and balled out from the first day he got there.
He participated in two college seasons with Baylor, putting up a stat line of 43 receptions, 721 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 22 games. Gordon later declared for the 2012 NFL supplementary draft, where the Cleveland Browns selected him in the second round.
He had a decent NFL career, which peaked in 2013, as he was selected to the All-Pro team for that season. Seattle Sea Dragons fans will hope that he stays out of trouble, as he will likely be key to their XFL playoff push.
#1 AJ McCarron, Quarterback, St. Louis BattleHawks
Three years starting for the Alabama Crimson Tides, three National titles: that's all you need to know about AJ McCarron's dominance at the college level, and BattleHawks fans will be expecting more of that this season.
AJ McCarron is easily one of the best college quarterbacks in recent history, but it's still a surprise that he didn't make it at the professional level. He did finish second in Heisman Trophy voting once.
AJ McCarron posted a 2-2 record as an NFL starter, throwing for 1,173 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. He did that while being a member of the Cincinnati Bengals (before the days of Jalen Hurts). This season could prove key to McCarron's future NFL prospects, so you can be sure he will give it his all in the XFL.