XFL Diamonds Vol 4
Offensive Skill Position by Matt Anzio
The theme of this article is Determination & tenacity and the unwillingness to give up on a dream no matter what they encounter.
Versatile Offensive players with some inspiring stories of doing whatever it takes to play the game the love & ultimately live their dreams.
Can tell you this I would not waste my time on guys that gave up, so you can take it to the bank. When I tell you this character determination & passion equals success.
- RB: Jaymar Anderson
- East Stroudsburg University (P.A.)
- Height : 6’2
- Weight: 225 lbs
Anderson is one of the Top Rated RB’s left on the Market.
He is a Big, physical, strong, short yardage goal line threat but don’t let that fool you. Anderson isn’t just a strong back, but he has very quick feet for his size. He is a Good receiver out the backfield, can block & be an every down back if needed.
ESU didn’t get too much of a look despite having a few guys that were worth a gander. I have focused on all 3 I believe can make it, and have featured all to include FS Billy Ingram III & Jylil Reeder & Anderson. Jaymar I thought had the best shot but not surprisingly overlooked. The XFL would make a huge mistake if they overlooked his school & him when they compile there rosters.
In 2018 Anderson compiled team leading 817 yds with 9 TD’s averaging 116.7 YPG & a 5.8 YPC avg.
His tape & numbers don’t lie the fact is RB was deep but when you look at the best RB’s available he is high on that list.
Has an Old School back style back when backs were used a lot more & didn’t have multiple back’s to pull from. When you get that Fullback size with a that RB quickness with a good attitude & fighting spirit. That is the type of RB that XFL teams should consider Anderson just want’s a chance to show them they shouldn’t of passed on the big man.
- QB: Darrien Fields
- Marietta College
- Height : 5’ 9
- Weight : 170 lbs
Many will say Fields is too small to play QB at a Pro level.
He is ready to prove them dead wrong, we have seen guys like Russell Wilson who’s only an inch taller have success. Drew Brees might be listed as a 6 ft QB on New Orleans website but we all know he is barley 5’11 in cleats. If Fields had the career & put up the numbers he did at Marietta at a school like UCF he would definitely be in a camp right now.
A inch or 2 isn’t going to matter in a league with what I hear are rules geared towards players like Fields that can make plays with his arm & legs.
We are not talking about some player that had a few nice outings. He is the Schools All-Time Record holder in Career Passing TD’s & TD’s in a Game.
An HBCU Spirit of America Game attendee whose skills where on full display & was also at the All American Bowl in Minnesota
Movement skills are off the chart. He is an elusive, flexible, and athletic signal caller with a big arm. He is so much fun to watch! His escapability & awareness to keep his eyes down the field are bar none. Fields almost six sense of the pocket breaking down. With his knack for making something from nothing is just a few of the many reasons I feel he brings a level of excitement to a New league. Strong throws while in motion finds the check down & has a good short to intermediate passing game. To go with his big arm to get the ball out in front of his wide outs.
- WR/ KR : Quintin Vinzant
- CETYSUNI College Tijuana ( Mexico)
- Height 5’ 10
- Weight : 180 lbs
So You Think You Got Sleepers.
Hows Tijuana for unlikely places to discover unsung talent that flew to far below the radar.
Enter Quintin Vinzant not going to hear much of his stats or accolades cause they don’t exactly keep track of that sort of thing , well you know in Tijuana.
Heavily sought after coming out of Junior College by such power house teams like UCLA , BYU & Utah State. Because of both his football as well as his track & field achievements. Only to find out last minute that he only had one year remaining eligibility.
Not knowing exactly what to do the bigger schools wanted at least 2 years to develop players in their systems. He wound up at Humboldt State but due to the program being” dismissed.” He wound up South of the border at CETYSUNI Community College in Tijuana Mexico. They wanted an American on the team & Vinzant needed an opportunity, so he packed his bags headed to one of the craziest cities on earth to play American football.
It was far from a easy adjustment a “culture shock” as Vinzant described it. Not knowing the language or the culture it was difficult for him but he made the best of it. Getting a invite to the FCS Bowl & National bowl showing he can hang with the top guys. Turning some scouts heads getting some interest but generally not developing into nothing.
As mentioned above with his track background Vinzant runs a ridiculous 4.37 has the footwork of some of the great smaller slot type WR’s like we have seen have great success not only as pass catchers but return superstars. Short area speed isn’t in question with a L Drill of 6.90.
Vinzant runs flawless routes & beats his guy adding even more special separation with nice extension of his arms & tracking the ball judging overthrown or underthrown passes & making some spectacular plays.
Being 5-10 shouldn’t be an issue in the least with his track superior athletic background. He is the home run hitter ever XFL OC will desire. Vinzant is working non stop every day ready for that chance to show the world what I already see.
- RB Akiel Smalley
- York Capitals (AIF)
- Height : 5’ 8
- Weight : 210 lbs
Philly Fans are Familiar with Smalley’s Story of Determination.
Camping out in front of his favorite team since childhood facility to get a shot with his beloved Eagles.
Not here to tell that story for it has already been told well by Liam Jenkins. I suggest you go check it out if you haven’t already. Going to talk about why I feel he would be a ideal fit for a league like the XFL.
In order for the XFL to be successful it is going to take the ability to build teams made up of highly skilled high character players that won’t give up the first sign of a barrier or impasse. Smalley is one of the most goal driven determined players of them all.
Taking his game to the minor league levels has been going at this & Arena strong since 2010. A player that never played College Football. Playing for such teams as the York Capitals (AIF) indoor football league. Was brought back for a second year in 2015 where he won the Championship with that organization. After which the whole League folded but that didn’t stop Smalley from playing the game he loves.
Still grinding the Minor League circuit going on CFL tryouts even multiple tryouts in one weekend. While of course working to feed his family the entire time. CFL only signs so many Americans & it is true they like guys that have been in NFL camps.
Enter present day time waits for no man but the experience of Smalley has to be worth something in the football world. Taking the road less paved to a dream that is already very hard to obtain while keeping a positive outlook the whole time. Have to applaud that type of tenacity & if there is a theme to this article it is “Tenacity”. Like i tell many of the players all these experiences will come into play at some point or another.
Smalley still possess good burst off the line. Versatility to run, block or catch passes he can do it all.
- FB/RB/ ST / LB Preston Hamlette
- Bismarck Bucks (IFL) Arena
- Height : 5 ‘ 11
- Weight : 233 lbs
What is the importance of high quality high character human beings on a ball club?
Everything, it’s those leaders & guys that are willing to do whatever it takes for the good of the club. That is a huge part to Championship clubs & organizations that keep finding themselves in the bottom with early draft picks & overpriced primadonna Veterans.
A guy like Hamlette that has done it all in his time in college then in the Arena world. Can be used best as a big physical runner/ blocker & as a ST regular. Has experience & a good frame for LB position which he has played in college & for the Bismark Bucks playing both ways in Arena.
Ideally see the former All State 1st Team Pac- 10 LB Prospect as a big running back or Full back to help block, perfect in goal line situations. Surprisingly, a nimble pass catcher, with soft reliable hands and quicker feet then most backs his size.
When you watch tape of a inside LB or a RB hitting the hole the only difference is one is carrying the ball & one is tring to hit the guy with the ball. There isn’t too much more to it than that & if you look too his days of being a All Conference Award winning Linebacker days think you will see no decline in his burst. Would honestly say he seems quicker, as he is lighter stronger & much more confident playing the game.
The power behind his blocks is prevalent as I watch his arena tape. He will not be denied the extra yard or the TD in the Red Zone. Strength is a strong point but you are also looking at a guy that can still run in the 4.6 range in a forty yd dash.
Plenty of experience in the Special teams yet another area in which he adds value to a team.
His Journey is what makes him a perfect candidate for the New XFL 2020. Want to gauge a players future best way is to gauge his past. Hamlettes past is that of never giving up on his dreams & his years of efforts are something the XFL should value.
- WR/ FB/ TE/ ST Kalias Robertson
- Alabama A & M
- Height : 6’ 3 ½
- Weight : 235 lbs
Kalias Determination & commitment has been unwavered since I met him before last years draft.
What difference does a half of inch make? In retrospect it wasn’t only the half inch cause teams want TE’s that are 6 ft 4 & bigger but also his team wasn’t very good.
Still your looking at a Prospect that ran a 4.61 that is better than any TE at the past combine in April. Then you throw on the tape immediately what jumps out is his quickness power to get out look for work & block like the Hoover Dam. Good solid hand run after the catch with the toughness strength to bust through tackles like a demolition crew.
Still he had a little interest but ultimately that half inch became costly. So he worked hard hitting the gym & looking for any opportunity he could to play ball at the next level. Watched him not only grow physically but mentally.
Did have a possible shot with the AAF 3 workouts lined up before it inevitably folded.
As he takes his next step with The N.Y. Streets (IFL) Arena Indoor team. He is working on his skills blocking, running catching & Special teams. He doesn’t only do ST he loves it the more he can do to help a team the better.
Kalias was ranked a top 10 TE coming out of AAMU by CFB Rankings last year. Had a nice TD in the FCS bowl & was a Tropical Bowl invite.
He had some good numbers at his Pro Day & if anything has improved his power, quickness & knowledge of the game.
The XFL could be an ideal landing spot for a player that I feel a close bond with being we have grown together him on the field & me in my writing. Learned alot about small schools & about the struggles the players endure & it all started with my lil bro Robertson.
Couldn’t recommend a player or person much higher than I could Kalias Robertson.
Robertson has been so close to his dreams he could taste it. What would’ve broken many of good man fueled him to get bigger, stronger faster & learn many different positions to help his team.
- TE / WR Jacob Chobani
- Height : 6’ 4
- Weight : 235 lbs
Chopani can lift 225lbs forty of more times.
Only reason he isn’t in a training camp right now is his small school status & lack of exposure. Coupled with the fact he changed positions from WR to TE & had no pro day despite our best efforts.
Although I have been a big supporter of Chobani he didn’t get much exposure anywhere else. Better than many of the TE’s that I have seen get drafted late or brought into camp as free agents.
Just needs a chance to prove it Chapman isn’t exactly a football factory. Doesn’t mean they don’t produce the occasional Gem. The only way you will truly know is to bring him into a XFL camp or combine.
As a former wide out runs routes like a WR with TE size quicker than most TE’s as well. Obviously with his strength size & willingness to learn could be a solid blocker. Wasn’t asked to block much in School but with the right coach believe he can excel in that area. Excellent reach & catch radius awesome locating the ball in traffic. Can high point the ball win the 50/50 battle vertical ability with strong hands to secure the grab. Fluid natural mover that is a true wideout/ TE hybrid kinda like a Allen Lazard from last years draft.