Four former West Virginia football players will get their chance at professional football after being selected in the 2019 XFL Draft.
The XFL Draft functions different than the typical NFL Draft. Rather than having total freedom over their picks, there are five phases in which teams pick from designated position groups.
Offensive guard Marquis Lucas was the first Mountaineer off the board in the 9th round of the O-line by the Tampa Bay Vipers. Lucas played four years for West Virginia before graduating in 2016. He moved around several NFL teams, but couldn’t make it further than a practice squad.
Linebacker Terence Garvin came off next in the second round of the front seven phase by the St. Louis Battlehawks. He is looking for his third stint in a professional football league after most recently starting for the Orlando Apollos of the AAF, until the league folded in April.
The Battlehawks also selected former WVU safety Kenny Robinson in the 5th round of the defensive backs phase. Robinson made waves as the first player in the XFL Draft with remaining college eligibility. He entered the transfer portal in June after playing as one of the top safeties in the Big 12 over two seasons.
Dravon Askew-Henry was selected by the New York Guardians in the 5th round of the DBs phase. The safety was cut in this year’s preseason by the Steelers after signing as an undrafted free agent. Askew-Henry played 51 games for the Mountaineers over four seasons, totaling 168 tackles and nabbing 6 interceptions.
Coming off an undefeated championship season in the AAL with the West Virgnia Roughriders, Noel Devine is still on the board.
With the first four phases completed, the fifth phase — the Open Draft — is still yet to occur.
In total, the Big 12 had 23 former players drafted — which is tied for the bottom out of the Power Five conferences.
The XFL is a successor to the league of the same name which folded in 2001. This incarnation of the league is owned by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment LLC, and former WVU quarterback and athletic director Oliver Luck is the commissioner.