As the USFL–XFL merger approaches its finalization, the Arlington Renegades have continued to see athletes sign Letters of Intent with the organization.
The Renegades are one of spring football’s top teams. Arlington won the XFL Championship in 2023, getting hot at the right time to take down the mighty DC Defenders.
Led by legendary head coach Bob Stoops, the Arlington Renegades featured a stout defense – and an offense that came alive when Luis Perez joined the team.
As we head towards 2024, Arlington is building around their roster with more additions. While these LOI’s aren’t official contracts, one would expect most of these names to be with Arlington in training camp. Let’s take a look at each signing so far, and what they can bring to the Renegades.
RB Dae Dae Hunter | Liberty
Dae Dae Hunter is an exciting prospect for Arlington. Hunter played at Hawaii from 2020-2021, and dominated. His second season was exceptional, posting 651 rushing yards and three touchdowns. That year, he averaged 6.5 YPC.
For his final season, Dae Dae transferred to Liberty. This turned out to be a solid move, as he started in eight of nine games played. Hunter compiled 854 rushing yards and eight touchdowns at Liberty, showcasing his speed and playmaking abilities at the highest level in the FBS.
Hunter did not play this season, despite having eligibility. Now, he will look to kickstart his professional career with the Arlington Renegades.
WR Charles Hall | Arizona State
Charles Hall is one of only two offensive players that Arlington has signed to an LOI so far, other than linemen. Hall is on the smaller side for a receiver at 5’11, but has speed and route running abilities that make him into a valuable weapon on offense.
Charles was a dual sport athlete at Virginia Union University, playing football and competing in track. Across two seasons there, he racked up 1,668 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns – averaging a whopping 25 yards per reception.
Keep an eye out for Charles Hall of Virginia Union when football comes back.
After earning First Team All-CIAA honors with Virginia Union in 2021, Hall transferred to Arizona State. He played in 11 games, registering 104 receiving yards.
Now, Hall has an opportunity to get his professional career off the ground, signing a Letter of Intent with Arlington.
OL Bobby Evans | Oklahoma
Strengthening the offensive line seems to be a point of emphasis for Arlington this offseason. They feature one of the top offensive line coaches in the nation, with Jonathan Himebauch leading the way.
Now, the team has signed Bobby Evans to a letter of intent. Evans brings a ton of quality NFL experience to the table. He’s played in the NFL for the last five years, winning a super bowl with the Los Angeles Rams in 2022.
His most recent NFL action came in 2022, where he started in four of 12 games played. Bobby did have a training camp stint with the Jaguars and Vikings this year, but did not land on a roster.
The former Oklahoma star is now in a prime position to bolster a unit that is already one of the best in the spring football scene.
OL Dru Samia | Oklahoma
Another Oklahoma alumni has joined Arlington’s ranks. Dru Samia also brings NFL experience to the table. Samia came out of Oklahoma in 2018, starting in all 14 games during his senior season.
Dru then went to the NFL and spent time with the Minnesota Vikings. He started in four of 13 games played in 2020 with Minnesota. Samia has since spent time with the New York Jets, and also has had workouts with several NFL organizations, prior to signing his LOI with Arlington.
OL Garrett McGhin | East Carolina
More excellent news is the “re-signing” of Garrett McGhin, who was an integral piece to Arlington’s offense in 2023.
McGhin is no stranger to spring football, with loads of experience. He played for the New Jersey Generals in 2022, helping lead the team to a 9-1 record with the best rushing averages in the USFL. This earned Garrett All-USFL honors, and led to an NFL stint with the New York Giants.
Following his USFL success, McGhin ended up signing with the Arlington Renegades for 2023. Garrett was excellent, starting in all ten regular season games, ultimately contributing to a Championship victory.
This time around, Garrett spent time with the Buffalo Bills in training camp, but once again could not secure a roster spot. While McGhin certainly belongs in the NFL, Himebauch & Co. are more than happy to have him back in Arlington.
OL Jake Lacina | Augustana
Quite possibly one of the most underrated signings so far is Jake Lacina, who was a teammate with McGhin in 2022 with the Generals.
Lacina has played a major role with New Jersey for the past two USFL seasons. He started in all ten games in 2023, and earned All-USFL honors as one of the top lineman in the league. Just like McGhin, Lacina was a key factor when it comes to New Jersey’s tremendous rushing success.
The @XFLRenegades have had three more LOI signings, per the #XFL's transactions page:
OL Bobby Evans OL Jake Lacina LB Christian Sam
Lacina is an excellent pickup for Arlington's offensive line, as one of the top free agents on the market. Sam was also in the #USFL in 2022. pic.twitter.com/IcozHhGiSt
After spending a few months as a free agent, Jake has now committed to play with Arlington in 2024. Interestingly enough, Lacina was also teammates with starting QB Luis Perez, who was with New Jersey in 2022.
DL Ami Faniu | Maryland
Ami Faniu joins Arlington’s defensive line in an effort to bolster the unit, one that is now missing T.J. Barnes.
Faniu began his college career at Independence Community College, totaling 35 tackles and a sack in 2019. From there, he transferred to Maryland, and saw quite a bit of success. From 2021-2022, Ami started in 22 of 26 games played, racking up 71 tackles and a sack on the interior.
Incoming XFL Freshman Class.
Arlington Renegades have acquired Defensive Tackle Ami Finau from the University of Maryland. Born and raised from Kahulu,Hawaii. Finau is one of the best interior defensive linemen coming into the 2024 season. Finau was able to create havoc in… pic.twitter.com/fb1dMZBg1n
Redmond started in eight of 12 games played during his senior season, totaling 23 tackles and four sacks. His speed was on full display at the NFL combine, where he ran a 4.85 40 yard dash.
Jalen signed with the Carolina Panthers as an UDFA in 2023, but was ultimately released during training camp. Arlington’s defense certainly has gotten better with this pickup.
LB Christian Sam | Arizona State
Christian Sam is back in the spring football scene. Sam played in the USFL in 2022, spending the majority of his season with the Tampa Bay Bandits. He posted 52 tackles and an interception there, before moving to the New Orleans Breakers for the final weeks of the year, adding two more tackles to his final tally.
Following his time in the USFL, Sam signed with the Dallas Cowboys. He did not make the final roster, and has since remained a free agent.
USFL LB Christian Sam has signed with the Dallas Cowboys.@USFL DPOY and Houston Gambler Chris Odom has a handful of NFL workouts scheduled.
They are among the first to use their opportunity in the USFL to play pro football in the fall. They will not be the last.
Now, the former Arizona State product is looking to get back on the field in the XFL. Sam has plenty of spring football experience, also playing for The Spring League’s Jousters in 2021.
LB Merlin Robertson | Arizona State
Another talented prospect to join the Arlington Renegades is Merlin Robertson, also out of Arizona State. Robertson played college ball at Arizona State from 2018-2022, and was excellent.
He finished his career with 320 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and six interceptions. Robertson was utilized in a variety of ways on defense in Arizona State, and is the type of player who can do a lot of the little things for Arlington. Merlin was essentially a starter from the second he stepped foot in Arizona, to when he played his final game in 2022.
Since then, Robertson garnered interest from multiple NFL teams. He spent time in mini-camps with the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Commanders this past spring. Merlin was selected by the Arlington Renegades in the XFL rookie draft, and has since signed a LOI to play in 2024.
LB Storey Jackson | Liberty
Storey Jackson is looking to find his footing in the professional scene. Jackson had a few excellent years at Prairie View A&M, before transferring to Liberty.
After an XFL Championship victory, Taylor signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He did well in training camp, but did not make the final cuts for the roster, or practice squad.
Taylor’s college career was extensive, and impressive. He played with Washington State from 2018-2021, totaling 68 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Then, he transferred to Eastern Kentucky for his senior season, posting 37 tackles and two sacks in twelve games (ten starts).
Now, Willie Taylor comes back to Jay Hayes’ defense for 2024.
DB Darren Evans | LSU
Speaking of returning athletes, Darren Evans has also signed a letter of intent to play with Arlington in 2024.
Evans played with the Renegades in 2023, totaling five tackles and an interception in seven starts. From there, he signed with the New York Giants, but was cut when rosters were trimmed down for the NFL season.
DB Delonte Hood | Peru State
Delonte Hood is a talented prospect, one that could be a perfect fit for the XFL. Hood began his college career at Glenville State, where he posted 63 tackles, two sacks, and eight interceptions across two seasons there.
After a quick stint in Toledo, Hood transferred to Peru State for his final season. There he saw quite a bit of success, which led to a couple of NFL opportunities with Cincinnati and Denver.
Now, Hood will look to re-write his professional story with the Arlington Renegades in the XFL. Delonte has tons of raw talent, and is the type of athlete who could certainly use some development in the spring football scene.
As the 2024 season approaches, the USFL-XFL merger looms heavy. There are no true details known as of right now, other than that the leagues plan on playing a combined season, starting on March 30th.
While there hasn’t been any confirmation on a team structure, it seems like the new league will feature around 8-10 teams. Arlington is almost guaranteed to be one of those franchises.
Regardless, the Renegades have made several excellent additions this offseason. It will be interesting to watch if the team can build off of the momentum they found in the postseason – especially considering they finished the regular season with a 4-6 record.
What are your thoughts on these LOI signings for Arlington? Which prospects should the team pursue? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!