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BattleHawks draft McCarron, Willis at QB

XFL St. Louis BattleHawks McCarron Willis
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LAS VEGAS — The St. Louis BattleHawks have selected their quarterbacks to lead the 2023 charge at The Dome at America’s Center.

Head Coach Anthony Becht made the presentation of their quarterbacks during the Quarterback Selection Show Tuesday. The BattleHawk selections at QB are A.J. McCarron and Ryan Willis.

BattleHawks QB selections

A.J. McCarron

McCarron is the only QB in the nation who has won back-to-back national championships while at Alabama. The Crimson Tide star was a draft selection by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in Cincinnati for four seasons before entering free agency in February 2018.

McCarron has also played for the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, and Atlanta Falcons. However, some of his stints were significantly stunted due to injuries.

“A.J. brings us a championship pedigree,” said Becht. “He has seven years of NFL experience as a starting and backup quarterback. Unfortunately, A.J. battled through several injuries during that time which limited him from playing additional games. I feel like his time is now. A.J. will bring a very high football IQ, great leadership qualities, and invaluable experience to the St. Louis Battlehawks team.”

McCarron has been a free agent since the end of the 2021-22 NFL season. He played in 17 games, starting in only four of them. He has completed 109 of 174 passes for 1,173 yards with six touchdowns. In addition, he also rushed 22 times for 68 yards and one touchdown.

He has only made one postseason appearance, which was with the Bengals in 2015. That was a 23 for 41 performance, scoring one touchdown. He also ran five times for nine yards.

Ryan Willis

Willis has played at Kansas and Virginia Tech. He went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft.

As a free agent, Willis was brought into The Spring League with the Linemen. His performance in the league would earn him MVP honors for the 2021 season.

Following the Spring League season, Willis was signed to the practice squad for the Chicago Bears. Despite signing a reserve/future contract with the team in January, the Bears would release Willis in May.

“Ryan is a very talented quarterback,” said Becht. “He provides a good combination of size, arm talent, and athleticism. He will bring an ultra-competitive mindset to our QB roster.”

The 2022 XFL Draft officially kicks off on Wednesday.

The XFL will kick off on February 18, 2023. The league is in partnership with its exclusive broadcast partner, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN. Season ticket deposits are available online for all teams at XFL.com/tickets.


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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and a contributing writer for My Sports Vote, Ambush Sports and Midwest Sports Network. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.

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