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Five former TCU football players selected in inaugural XFL draft

TCU taking the field against SMU. Photo by Hunter Smith
TCU running back Kyle Hicks carries the football against the Oklahoma Sooners. (Photo By Sam Bruton/TCU Photographer)

TCU football is no stranger to sending graduates to play in the professional tier, and that tradition continued with the rebirth of the XFL.

Five former Frogs were chosen by XFL squads in preparation for the revival this upcoming February of the once WWE-controlled league.

The draft format consisted of five phases, the first four with 10 rounds each, and then an “open draft” phase of 30 rounds, usually for special teams players. The first four rounds consist of offensive skill positions, offensive linemen, defensive front seven, and defensive backs.

In the opening round, former running back Kyle Hicks was selected by the Houston Roughnecks as their first running back selection. Hicks’ accolades throughout his TCU career include an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection in 2016. 

Houston also selected Tayo Fabuluje, an offensive tackle who played in the 2012 season for the Frogs. He was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.

The Seattle Dragons picked Stansly Maponga as the third overall pick in the defensive front seven phase. Maponga played from 2011-12 at TCU and was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team and AP All-Big 12 Second Teams in 2012. 

The final defensive Frog off the board was Ranthong Texada, one of TCU’s best defensive backs in recent memory. Texada’s accolades include 2014 Second-Team Freshman All-American, 2016 Honorable Mention All-Big 12, and 2017 AP First-Team All-Big 12. 

Cole Hunt, a former TCU grad transfer tight end from Rice, was the final Frog selection in the XFL draft. Hunt was taken by the St. Louis Battlehawks. Hunt earned an Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 and First-Team Academic All-Big 12 nod in his sole season at TCU.

The local XFL team, the Dallas Renegades, did not draft any Horned Frogs but will host five home games at Globe Life Park in Arlington starting the week after Super Bowl Sunday.

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