The return of the XFL is just weeks away, and already there is chatter about how successful the rebooted football league will be. A lot of the success will depend on ratings, which goes hand-in-hand with how good the teams and their players look.
Based on some of the recent promotion for the league, there may be a handful of early XFL MVP favorites.
XFL releases FOX ad, hypes specific players
A recent advertisement for XFL on FOX helps fans get a quick overview of what to expect. It also features three specific stars shown and named on the screen to promote the league.
The first player is former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones.
The other players shown in the ad are Connor Cook and Aaron Murray. All three players have name recognition based on their college days, which could have fans eager to see how they do.
More plays. More scoring. Less downtime. ?
— XFL on FOX (@XFLonFOX) January 12, 2020
Jone played for Ohio State from 2013 through 2015.
Fellow quarterback Aaron Murray played from 2010 through 2013 for the Georgia Bulldogs. He tallied 12,166 yards and 121 touchdowns with just 41 interceptions in college. He also completed 921-of-1,478 passes during his time with the Bulldogs.
Connor Cook is yet another quarterback in the mix. He brings NFL experience in both the regular and postseasons as a member of the Oakland Raiders in 2016.
In college, Cook played for Michigan State from 2012 through 2015, finishing with 9,194 passing yards and 71 touchdowns on 673-of-1,070 completions.
Is there an early favorite for XFL MVP?
There are no odds currently for XFL future bets as far as the league’s MVP. However, Cardale Jones could be an early favorite. He helped lead the Buckeyes to a National Championship in 2015, giving him plenty of credentials and name recognition.
That shouldn’t take away from the other two players who are also highly-talented QBs.
Cook will play for the Houston Roughnecks under June Jones, while Murray will be under former Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman on the Tampa Bay Vipers.
Jones will play for the DC Defenders under head coach Pep Hamilton.
In college, Jones played three seasons, achieving his best numbers in 2015. Throughout his collegiate career, he tallied 2,323 yards and 15 touchdowns on 167-for-270 passing.
Additionally, he was somewhat mobile with 153 rushing attempts for 617 yards and four TDs.
He also has some NFL experience, having played on the Bills, Chargers, and Seahawks’ rosters. Of those teams, he only played in one regular-season game for Buffalo in 2016. Jones went 6-for-11 with 96 yards and an interception for that outing.
He was a practice squad member for the other two teams.
According to XFL News Hub, another player to keep an eye on is wide receiver Sammie Coates, also part of the Houston Roughnecks team with Cook.
XFL Commissioner Andrew Luck recently said he was impressed with what he’d seen from Sammie, mentioning he was surprised Coates isn’t playing in the NFL.
Of course, this is a time will tell situation with the XFL. Games have yet to be played. Injuries can happen. Players can struggle under certain systems or adapting to the league’s rules and style.
Even so, one has to think the three hyped-up players are ones XFL believes fans need to keep their eyes on.
The XFL season officially begins on Saturday, February 8, 2020.More: Cardale Jones, XFL