A decade ago, B.J. Daniels was a hero in Green and Gold quarterbacking for the USF Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. On Saturday, he was back as one of numerous players chasing another chance to play pro football in the upcoming XFL relaunch.
Daniels was out there with over a hundred players of all positions, backgrounds and story lines trying to impress XFL league and team representatives at their “summer showcase” event being held in Tampa:
— XFL Tampa Bay (@XFLTampaBay) June 29, 2019
In particular, Tampa Bay’s inaugural coach and “quarterback guru,” Marc Trestman was taking a strong look at what Daniels might be able to do for their first season starting next spring. Trestman has formerly been the Bears head coach and coach of the “Grey Cup” winning Montreal Allouettes of the CFL. However, he’s mostly known for his work, as a QB coach and offensive coordinator in the NFL over the past three decades.
A former start at Tallahassee’s Lincoln high school, Daniels quarterbacked at USF between 2009-12 and led the Bulls to a lot of success over those four seasons. He left Tampa with the second most passing yards and at that time, and the most rushing yards by any QB in program history. Also throw in, the historic wins at Florida State in 2009 and at Notre Dame in the opening game of the 2011 season, and there are plenty of memories for Bulls fans.
Daniels was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 but they released him late in his rookie year, but he was picked up (above) by the Seattle Seahawks. Daniels was on their roster during the playoff run that season, when the Seahawks eventually won the Super Bowl over the Denver Broncos. Daniels then bounced on and off several other NFL rosters as teams try him at receiver and running back, as well as quarterback. He actually did play a few series in the Texans finale’ game of 2017 at quarterback.
After trying out for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL last summer where he was released before playing in regular season games, Daniels eventually ended up in the other Spring league that launched this past January. The AAF’s Salt Lake City Stallions ended up taking Daniels, as part of the leagues separate quarterback only draft. However, Daniels was injured again, before playing in a game and placed on injured reserve for the season.
Yet, Saturday he was out there in the Tampa Bay heat firing passes in front of the likes of XFL Commissioner and former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck, as well. So too was other names like former NFL and Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, who desperately wants another chance in the upcoming spring League next February.
And, while the decision will ultimately come down to football skill, and the ability of Daniels to be healthy, it’s most likely the soon to be 30 year old Daniels will get a shot with the Tampa Bay franchise. This, if for no other reason than, thousands of local USF fans will be inclined to come did the stadium or at least watch on TV, if he’s under center at least some of the time.
And that’s something that Luck, owner of the XFL Vince McMahon and the league itself, will need a lot of next February.
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