Remembering The XFL: Making All The CFL-XFL Connections.


Jermaine Copeland is one of many players with both XFL & CFL ties. We go through them all…

If you haven’t already read our “What is (was?) the XFL anyways?” recap, that’s a great place to start on your XFL journey.  If you’re well versed in all things XFL then let’s get going!

The CFL & XFL have always been intertwined since the moment of the XFL draft (laid out here on or a little easier to read here on wikipedia). The first pick even starts us down the rabbit hole…

QB/Head Coach – Scott Milanovich

With the first pick in the XFL draft, the LA Xtreme selected QB Scott Milanovich.  Yes, THAT Scott Milanovich.  Now what makes it even crazier? The GM of the LA Xtreme?… Current Toronto Argonauts GM (and boss of Scott Milanovich) Jim Barker.  Yes, THAT Jim Barker.


We do a FULL dive into Scott Milanovich and his XFL-CFL connections which go even deeper than you could ever imagine.  See the full post HERE.

WR – Jeremaine Copeland 


Copeland has played in many football leagues over his career. Beginning his career with the Montreal Alouettes, he also played for the Toronto Argonauts & Calgary Stampeders. In the XFL he was a member of the champion LA Xtreme & even played in NFL Europe for the Barcelona Dragons.


After his playing days Copeland has since been the wide receivers coach for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats & Saskatchewan Roughriders.

RB – John Avery


Avery got his football start as a member of the Miami Dolphins, drafted in the 1st round (29th overall).  From there he played for the Denver Broncos and then rushed for 800 yards and 5 TDs in the XFL as a member of the Chicago Enforcers.  Avery then went on to play for the Edmonton Eskimos, Minnesota Vikings & Toronto Argonauts where he won a Grey Cup.  He is now a stand-up comedian.

QB – Marcus Crandell


The third overall pick in the XFL draft to the Memphis Maniax, Crandell also played in NFL Europe for the Scottish Claymores. for the Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders & Calgary Stampeders where in 2001 he won the Grey Cup & was named Grey Cup MVP.

Claymores cradnell grey cup

After football, Crandell has gone on to coach the Roughriders (offensive assistant), Eskimos  (OC/QB Coach) & was the QB Coach for the Ottawa REDBLACKS in 2015.

OL – Bobby Singh

B.C. Lions' Bobby Singh responds to the jeers of Edmonton Eskimos fans during the fourth quarter CFL action at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday Sept. 24, 2005. The Lions lost for the first time this season, 37-20. (CP Photo/John Ulan)

Bobby Singh is in an elite club all to his own. Singh is the only player in the history of professional football to have captured a Super Bowl in 1999 with the St.Louis Rams, winning the XFL Million Dollar Game with the LA Xtreme and completing the trifecta by winning a Grey Cup in 2006 with the BC Lions. In our deep dive we found this tweet… it’s incredible.


DL – Eric England


Starting his career with the Arizona Cardinals, England eventual made his way to the BC Lions in 2000. From there he played the one season with the San Francisco Demons of the XFL before returning to the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts from 2003-2006.

K – Paul McCallum


One player who still remains active and played in the XFL is Kicker Paul McCallum having been a member of the Roughriders in 2015. McCallum’s career started in 1993 with the BC Lions and since then has played for the Ottawa (then Rough Riders) and also multiple stints with the SSK Roughriders as well as the BC Lions. However, McCallum took a hiatus from CFL football in 2001 as a member of the XFL Las Vegas Outlaws and in 1996 as a member of the NFL Europe Scottish Claymores.

RB/KR – Rod Smart


Perhaps one of the most famous XFL players was Rod Smart who infamously put his nickname “He Hate Me” on the back of his jersey as this was allowed in the XFL. Throughout his career Smart played for the San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders of the NFL, the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL, the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL and even had a one year stint in the AAFL with Team Tennessee.

The list goes on with XFL-CFL connections.  Here is list of more players that played in both leagues…

For our “starters guide” the XFL CLICK HERE.

For a deep dive into the Milanovich-Barker connection CLICK HERE.

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5 thoughts on “Remembering The XFL: Making All The CFL-XFL Connections.

  1. You forgot to mention that Vince McMahon wanted to run the CFL out of business with his new league! Instead, he helped us find new talent!

  2. I really loved the XFL. Even though the Thunderbolts were terriable, they were fun to watch. Thanks for remembering the XFL.

  3. Joe Paopao and Greg Mohns? They would have been 100 in 2002 , so I’m pretty sure they weren’t players in the XFL.

    Since we’re talking about non-player crossover, I have to bring up the late, great Bob Ackles. I read his book, recently, which answered my question of how a person of his calibre ended up in the XFL.

    Thanks for these articles. I don’t think I watched a single XFL game, but I find it interesting, nevertheless.

  4. You missed Scott Cloman who played for the Orlando Rage and the Edmonton Eskimos and I served as the OC for the Bombers from 1992-96, receivers coach for the Eskimos in 2008, and HC of the Bombers in 2009. I was the OC of the the league best 8-2 Orlando Rage. I’m guessing there might be others missed such as CFL Hall of Famer Cal Murphy who was the original OC with the Chicago Enforcers under Dick Butkus until Ron Meyers took over.

    1. Yeah, and you canned promising Ritchie Williams to go with Stefan Lefors, only to end up with Michael “Oh No! Not another pick!” Bishop. LOL. Great move, Mike.

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