The eight franchises of the XFL finalized their 52-man rosters this week, and three former Pitt players secured roster spots. The trio of ex-Panthers included linebacker James Folston, who is with the Dallas Renegades; defensive end Dewayne Hendrix, who is with the St. Louis BattleHawks; and offensive lineman Dorian Johnson, who is with the D.C. Defenders.
Folston is the only Pitt alum remaining from the five who were selected in the XFL draft last October. The other selections included offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty, who was picked up by the Dallas Renegades; linebacker Nicholas Grigsby, who was taken by the St. Louis BattleHawks; wide receiver Quadree Henderson, who went to the New York Guardians; and tight end Scott Orndoff, who landed on the Los Angeles Wildcats roster.
Johnson and Hendrix were both relatively late additions to their teams. Johnson was added to the Defenders roster during the XFL’s supplemental draft in November. Hendrix was signed by the BattleHawks on Jan. 9, the same day Grigsby was waived by the team.
The D.C. Defenders will host the XFL’s first televised game at Audi Field in Washington on Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. ET, and their opponents will be the Seattle Dragons. That means Johnson will be the first Pitt alum with a chance to see the field in the revamped league. And on Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. ET, the Dallas Renegades will host the St. Louis BattleHawks, pitting Folston against Hendrix at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The Defenders-Dragons matchup will air on ABC, and the Renegades-BattleHawks game will air on ESPN.