The Orlando Rage selected players with NFL experience and
also obtained some local talent as the final day of the
XFL's Player Allocation and Selection System (P.A.S.S.)
draft came to a close. In all, 472 players were selected
in 59 rounds of the three-day draft. In addition, 86 territorial
selections were made.
"Overall, I was pleased with the draft and overall
quality of players we selected," Head Coach Galen Hall
said. "Judging from the talent available, it's obvious
that a lot of good players wanted to be in the XFL. With
a few exceptions, we were able to obtain many of the players
we had targeted. Speaking for our coaching staff, we are
all looking forward to getting these players together and
getting them to work."
Orlando selected 34 players on Monday, concentrating on
filling needs on the offensive line, at wide receiver, linebacker
and special teams. With the first pick of the day, the Rage
selected mammoth lineman John Feugill out of the University
of Maryland. The 6-7, 310-lb. Fuegill attended camp with
the Jacksonville Jaguars this year after sitting out all
of 1999 with a foot injury. In the 35th round, Orlando selected
linebacker Kivuusama Mays. A 4th round pick out of North
Carolina in 1998, Mays logged 30 games in the NFL for the
Vikings and Green Bay Packers. An outstanding special teams
player, Mays recorded 41 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1
fumble recovery in his NFL career. Orlando also obtained
NFL veteran safety Louis Riddick in the 41st round. A 9th
round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers, Riddick played
in 94 career NFL games for Atlanta, Cleveland, and Oakland.
With its 28th round pick, Orlando selected kicker Jay Taylor
from West Virginia and added punter Tony Ulmholtz from the
University of South Florida in the 58th round. Taylor attended
camp with the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent this
year. He finished his career at WVU ranked 2nd all-time
in field goals (53), extra points (151) and scoring (310).
Ulmholtz averaged 41.4 yards per punt in earning 3rd team
All-America honors for South Florida in 1999. He became
the first player from South Florida selected in a professional
Rick Hamilton and Damon Mason, two key players in the Orlando
Predators' Arena Football League championship seasons of
1998 and 2000, were picked by the Rage in the 48th and 54th
Hamilton, who played in the NFL for the New York Jets and
Washington Redskins, is the Predators career rushing leader
with 605 yards. He ran for 210 yards and 9 touchdowns in
2000 and was Most Valuable Player of ArenaBowl XII in 1998.
Hamilton, a fullback/linebacker with the Predators, will
play linebacker with the Rage. The hard-hitting Mason led
the Predators in tackles in each of the last three seasons.
His 116 tackles in 2000 tied his own AFL record. He earned
2nd team All-Arena honors last year and has 311 tackles,
36 pass defenses and 9 interceptions in three seasons.
Orlando also selected three additional players from state
schools. The Rage obtained Florida State offensive guard
Chad Bates in the 27th round (212 overall), tabbed University
of Florida offensive lineman Cheston Blackshear in the 47th
round (372), and nabbed University of Central Florida offensive
guard Ryan Gillis in the 55th round (436). Bates played
two seasons in NFL-Europe, Blackshear attended training
camp with the Carolina Panthers last year, while Gillis
impressed player personnel directors at an XFL tryout.
With the three rounds of P.A.S.S. and its 11 territorial
picks, the Rage now have 70 players under contract for the
2001 season. The team will conduct a mini camp beginning
Nov. 13 for skill positions and will have a full squad mini
camp in December.