Roughly 100 football players, with various levels of experience from college to NFL to the now-defunct Alliance of American Football League, gathered at Memorial Stadium underneath the Space Needle on Saturday for the reborn XFL's Seattle Showcase.
Some traveled hundreds of miles to display their talents in front of Commissioner Oliver Luck and Seattle Head Coach Jim Zorn, while others could have walked to the event. Former Washington Huskies star quarterback Keith Price performed, having recently been out of a job when the Birmingham Iron and AAF fell apart.
Other notable local players included linebackers Hau'oli Kikaha and Diandre Campbell from UW, linebacker Peyton Pelluer from Washington State, defensive linemen Jojo Mathis, Alameda Ta'amu and Tani Tupou from UW, cornerbacks Marcellus Pippins and Robert Taylor from WSU, tight end Eric Wallace from Seattle, and offensive linemen Logan Tago and Devonte McClain from WSU.
Running back Bishop Sankey, who starred for the Huskies before playing in the both the NFL for the Tennessee Titans and AAF with San Diego, was listed to be at the event, but did not appear at the Showcase.
The Showcase featured players taking part in position drills, "X Factor" testing including "wearable technology to measure key football and position-specific movements", 1-on-1 drills then 7-on-7 drills simulating game situations without linemen. The XFL emphasizes that while the public could come and watch for free, the event was invitation-only for players.
One interesting invitee was none other than former Seattle Sounders FC and English Premier League goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, who worked out at kicker, nailing multiple 40+ yard field goals with ease.
As for the XFL itself, with team names and colors debuting next month and a draft set to take place in October, progress is steadily being made ahead of the kickoff next February. The league will feature eight teams across the United States, each with 45-person active rosters and a seven-person practice squad. There will be a "40 man taxi squad" for the league as well.
The schedule is outlined with a 10-week regular season and 2-week playoff before a Championship Game takes place in April, giving 43 total games for the season, all televised on ABC, ESPN, and FOX Networks. Others XFL cities, besides Seattle, include New York, Washington DC, Tampa Bay, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis and Los Angeles.
Following the Seattle Showcase, Price, Luck, and Zorn all spoke with the attending media. Hear their comments about Saturday's event and the XFL below.