With the XFL draft now in the rearview mirror, three former Stony Brook University football players have found new homes.
During the fifth phase of the XFL draft, the open selection phase, the New York Guardians selected defensive lineman Victor (Vic) Ochi, while tight end Connor Davis was picked by the St. Louis BattleHawks and wide receiver Raymond (Ray) Bolden landed with the Houston Roughnecks.
This is not Ochi’s first go-around on the professional level. After leaving Stony Brook as their all-time sacks leader with 32.5, Ochi quickly signed with the Baltimore Ravens after going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft.
While the Ravens released Ochi right before the start of the 2016 NFL season, he joined the New York Jets practice two days later, and within a month was promoted to the active roster. Playing in two games for the Jets, Ochi became the second Stony Brook alum to suit up in an NFL game. Ochi then bounced around the practice squads of the Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, before missing the entire 2018 NFL and all of the current 2019 season.
The custom within the NFL is to invite undrafted free agents to the three-day rookie minicamp, in order to get a better look at players. Connor Davis was one of many undrafted players the New York Giants brought to rookie minicamp in 2018. While nothing came to fruition after that, Davis offers the BattleHawks a player who can play many positions.
At Stony Brook, Davis played tight end, his primary position, as well as lining up as a defensive lineman, even gathering a sack his freshman year, as well as a right tackle on the offensive line.
Bolden, a two-time first-team All-CAA football wide receiver, joined the Philadelphia Eagles for rookie minicamp after going undrafted in 2018. Like Davis, Bolden left rookie camp without a deal but managed to sign with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL back in April, only to be released a month later.
Being drafted is an accomplishment in its own right, but none of the players are safe. All eight of the XFL teams currently have 71 players, but only 52 will make the opening-week roster. The odds are not on the former Seawolves’ side, they have to hope talent is.