Locals In The XFL: Here’s Who You’ll See In League’s Reboot

Feb 16, 2023, 11:23 AM | Updated: Mar 31, 2023, 3:15 pm


The official XFL game ball for the Tampa Bay Vipers during the XFL's Vipers Minicamp on December 16, 2019 at Plant City Stadium in Plant City,FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The new version of the XFL professional football league is almost here and multiple players with ties to the state of Utah will play in the reboot.

XFL 3.0 will kickoff on Saturday, February 18.

The league’s ownership group is led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

This version of the XFL will feature eight teams across two divisions. Those teams are:

2023 XFL Teams

North Division

  • D.C. Defenders
  • Seattle Sea Dragons
  • St. Louis Battlehawks
  • Vegas Vipers

South Division

  • Arlington Renegades
  • Houston Roughnecks
  • Orlando Guardians
  • San Antonio Brahmas

Locals players in the XFL

Former Utah Utes

  • Francis Bernard – Linebacker – D.C. Defenders
    • Next Game: vs. Seattle Sea Dragons on Sunday, February 19 at 6 p.m. (MDT) on ESPN
  • Pita Taumoepenu – Linebacker – Vegas Vipers
    • Next Game: @ Arlington Renegades on Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. (MDT) on ABC

Former BYU Cougars

  • Tomasi Laulile – Defensive Lineman – Arlington Renegades
    • Next Game: vs. Vegas Vipers on Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. (MDT) on ABC
  • Tejan Koroma – Offensive Lineman – Seattle Sea Dragons
    • Next Game: @ D.C. Defenders on Sunday, February 19 at 6 p.m. (MDT) on ESPN

Former Utah State Aggies

  • Marwin Evans – Defensive Back – Vegas Vipers
    • Next Game: @ Arlington Renegades on Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. (MDT) on ABC

Local Players in XFL Draft

Multiple local players were selected during the 2023 XFL Draft. The XFL Draft was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from November 15-17, 2022.

During the selections, a pair of former Utah football standouts landed on rosters ahead of the XFL’s reboot.

Former Utes Tareke Lewis and Taumoepenu were selected during the three-day events. Taumoepenu was chosen by the Vipers with the 32nd pick during the fourth round.

Taumoepenu played for Utah from 2013-16. The former Timpview High standout recorded 73 total tackles, 49 solo tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 21 sacks, four forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 43 games with the Utes. After his college career, the linebacker was selected by the San Francisco 49ers during the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He played for the Niners until 2019. From 2019-21, Taumoepenu was a member of the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, and Denver Broncos.

Lewis landed with the St. Louis Battlehawks as their 78th pick in the 10th round. He was waived by St. Louis in January.

Before his professional career, Lewis played for the Utes from 2018-19. During his time at the University of Utah, the defensive back had 32 total tackles, 26 solo tackles, one interception, and nine pass breakups in 25 games.

The 2023 edition of the XFL will be under a new ownership group led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Training camp is slated to begin in January and the regular season will start in February.

XFL in 2020

In April 2020, the XFL suspended league operations and terminated its employees amid the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 12 former college football players from the state of Utah were on active 52-man rosters in the eight-team league. Along with the 12 players, former BYU and Utah offensive coordinator Norm Chow was the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Wildcats.

In 2019, another football league, the American Alliance of Football, folded before the completion of its inaugural season.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).



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Locals In The XFL: Here’s Who You’ll See In League’s Reboot