XFL Orlando Rage Press Release 2


Press Release 2
Coach Hall reflects on the Rage's draft

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 football draft.

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 rounds.

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.


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