Analyzing The St. Louis Battlehawks Letters Of Intent Signings XFL | Johnny Buchanan

Analyzing The St. Louis Battlehawks Letters Of Intent Signings

Over the past couple of months, the XFL has signed hundreds of players to “Letters Of Intent”. The St. Louis Battlehawks have been quite active during this period, bringing back some key pieces – while also acquiring several new faces.

It’s worth noting that these Letters Of Intent are not official contracts, but rather a way for teams to claim players they plan to sign before the season begins. Contracts won’t be sent out until before training camp as it currently stands.

With that in mind, St. Louis has secured some athletes who are bound to make a difference in 2024. Let’s take a look at who has signed LOI’s with the Battlehawks so far, and what they can bring to the organization.

RB Kevon Latulas | Missouri State

Kevon Latulas is an intriguing prospect out of Missouri State. The shifty, strong running back put his talents on display at Missouri State, especially during his final couple of seasons.

Latulas stands at 6 feet, 215 pounds. In his three years at Missouri State, he compiled 1,029 rushing yards alongside six touchdowns. He averaged an impressive 7.15 YPC in college. Additionally, Kevon made an impact on special teams, and through the air: 458 receiving yards and 4 TD at Missouri.

WR James Bostic | Ohio

James Bostic is a specimen at 6’3”, 230 pounds. Bostic is a physical receiver, who uses his strength and size to make magic happen on the football field.

Battlehawks fans will see some similar traits in Bostic to that of Hakeem Butler. The two utilize their height often, and can always find a way to fall forward.

Bostic played most of his college football at Vanderbilt, but it wasn’t until he transferred to Ohio where he put himself on the map. In 2022, James posted 607 receiving yards and a touchdown, averaging 18.3 YPR.

TE Kemore Gamble | UCF

At 6’4”, weighing in at 245 pounds, Kemore Gamble is a big-bodied tight end who can get the dirty work done. Gamble played most of his college football at Florida. In 2021, he racked up 414 receiving yards and four touchdowns with the team.

Gamble then transferred to UCF for his final year of eligibility. In 2022, Kemore caught seven passes for 118 yards, averaging 16.8 YPR. Five of his receptions went for first downs, with one score on the year.

Kemore Gamble was drafted by St. Louis over the summer, and has since signed a LOI to play with the team in 2024.

TE Kemari Averett | Bethune-Cookman

Kemari Averett began his college career at Louisville. There, he compiled 144 receiving yards and three touchdowns, before moving to Bethune-Cookman.

There, Kemari was tremendous. He registered 1,333 receiving yards and a whopping 17 touchdowns across two seasons, showcasing the red zone threat he truly is. Averett stands at 6’6”, making him a go-to target especially in those red zone scenarios.

The St. Louis Battlehawks already feature some outstanding playmakers on offense. Kemari is the type of player who could seamlessly fit into Anthony Becht’s unit, bringing size and excellent hands to the offense.

DL Kevin Atkins | Fresno State

Kevin Atkins is back. The XFL defensive tackle returns for another season with St. Louis, following a stint in the NFL.

Atkins played a key role in the trenches for the Battlehawks in 2023. He started in nine of ten games played, and posted 14 tackles alongside a sack.

Following his XFL campaign, Atkins spent time with the New York Giants in preseason. After his release from the NFL, Kevin now signs a Letter Of Intent to come back to St. Louis.

DL Jadrian Taylor | UTEP

Jadrian Taylor has signed a Letter Of Intent with the St. Louis Battlehawks, in an effort to beef up the defensive line.

Taylor began his college career at Kilgore JC, where he notched 53 tackles and eight sacks across two seasons. From there, Jadrian transferred to UTEP – and absolutely dominated.

In three seasons at UTEP, Taylor posted 81 tackles and 16 sacks, providing the team with elite interior play. In addition, he had a 100 yard fumble return for a touchdown in his senior year, and earned All-Conference First Team honors.

DL Marcus Cushnie | UMASS

Another interesting pickup defensively is Marcus Cushnie, who had quite the career in college. He began his journey at Alabama A&M, playing three seasons at the school. There, he racked up 68 tackles and 16 sacks.

In 2021, he transferred to Florida State. He saw limited action, compiling three tackles and 1.5 sacks in 12 games.

Then, Marcus made the move to Massachusetts. There, he started in 11 of 12 games played, compiling 47 tackles and 5.5 sacks. If Cushnie ends up signing a contract with St. Louis for the 2024 season, expect him to make an impact in the trenches.

LB Callahan O’Reilly | Montana State

Callahan O’Reilly is an exciting prospect for the St. Louis Battlehawks, one who could provide the team with an All-XFL caliber season given the opportunity.

In college, Callahan was outstanding. During the 2019 season, he posted 91 tackles and a sack for Montana State, starting in 10 of 15 games for the team. He also scored a touchdown that year, taking a fake punt to the house.

Then, in 2021, O’Reilly had an exceptional season in 14 starts, racking up 105 tackles and two interceptions.

In April, Callahan was invited to the Chicago Bears mini-camp. Now, O’Reilly will look to continue his professional career in the XFL, with the St. Louis Battlehawks.

LB Johnny Buchanan | Delaware

Speaking of excellent linebacker play, Johnny Buchanan is a big-time acquisition for St. Louis. Buchanan played his college ball at Delaware, where he showed improvement with each and every season.

His senior year in 2022 was by far his most impressive. Johnny registered 150 tackles, 8.5 TFL, and 1.5 sacks in 13 games. He earned Seven All-American First Team selections that year, putting himself on the map of several NFL teams.

Johnny Buchanan is an aggressive, hard-hitting linebacker that brings multiple assets to any defense. Buchanan has comparable traits to that of All-USFL linebacker Frank Ginda. Johnny is a field general, playing a similar style that Ginda has seen plenty of success with in the USFL and XFL.

After generating some NFL interest, Buchanan now plans to play for the St. Louis Battlehawks in 2024, barring any NFL opportunities.

DB Elijah Hamilton | LA Tech

Elijah Hamilton is another returning Battlehawk from 2023. The versatile defensive back played in eight games for St. Louis this year, starting three. Elijah Hamilton finished the year with 13 tackles.

After the XFL season concluded, Hamilton spent time with the Green Bay Packers. He was ultimately cut right before the regular season began. Now, Elijah is set to return to St. Louis for 2024, who will likely serve as a depth piece in the secondary.

DB Nico Bolden | Kent State

Nico Bolden is a tackling machine. During his college career, he played for New Mexico from 2018-2020. There, he posted 47 tackles in 22 games, making one start.

However, once Bolden transferred to Kent State, he broke out as a star. Nico registered 189 tackles in just two seasons, alongside a sack and two interceptions.

Nico Bolden brings a lot to the table for St. Louis. Throughout his career, he’s effortlessly flown around the field, playing with intensity and speed that not every DB possesses. As long as Bolden signs to the Battlehawks for 2024, he should play an important role defensively if given the opportunity.

Final Thoughts

The St. Louis Battlehawks feature a strong team from front to back. Despite just missing out on the XFL postseason in 2023, their 7-3 record speaks for itself.

As Anthony Becht, Dave Boller, and the rest of the crew look to secure more high-end prospects for 2024, keep an eye on these LOI signings. This group in particular is extremely talented.

What are your thoughts on these pickups for the St. Louis Battlehawks? Which XFL prospects should the team pursue? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!