One of the innovative and beneficial partnerships for the XFL is their relationship with the Indoor Football League. The two organizations have collaborated over the past couple of years, and now team up for another important endeavor ahead of the 2024 season.
On August 4th, the XFL will be hosting a combine for players currently in the IFL. This will provide them with an opportunity to perform in front of XFL coaches and staff, while putting together additional film for their resume.
In this piece, we’ll be looking at a few players from the San Diego Strike Force to keep an eye on, as they are bound to impress next week.
DE Michael Badejo
To begin with, DE Michael Badejo has been one of the most overlooked athletes in this scene for a while. He was originally slated to be a part of the XFL draft in 2022, and had a couple of workouts with teams (i.e. Orlando Guardians), but was never signed.
Badejo has had quite the career so far. He played for Timberview High School, before joining Southern Methodist University for his first two years in college. From there, he attended Texas Southern, and dominated. In his senior season, Badejo posted 28 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.
This year, he ended up playing for the San Diego Strike Force in the IFL. Badejo was one of the top defenders in the league, finishing the season with 38 tackles, 6.5 TFL, and 1.5 sacks. Without a doubt, Michael Badejo is a name that one has to watch closely as each XFL team continues to fill out their rosters.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Michael last year, which can be viewed here.
WR Carlos Thompson
Carlos Thompson was an absolute weapon for the San Diego Strike Force all year long. He compiled 661 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in 2023, tearing up defenses week in and week out.
While he’s on the smaller side for a WR (5’10”), Thompson makes up for it with speed and agility. His route running abilities aren’t talked about enough.
Thompson has been working towards a professional opportunity for quite a while. He’s played for multiple teams in the arena scene, and was very efficient during his college career.
At Independence C.C., he caught 48 passes for 544 yards and three scores. In addition, he’s had experience in the return game as well, showcasing he’s more than just a receiver. As the XFL combine approaches, Carlos should be seeing looks from multiple XFL organizations.
WR Kentrez Bell
Speaking of electrifying wide receivers, Kentrez Bell was sensational for San Diego. The 6’3” WR tore up the IFL this year, registering 24 touchdowns and 1,092 receiving yards along the way.
DJ Morgan had a prolific season for the San Diego Strike Force. The versatile linebacker did a bit of everything for the team, racking up 83 tackles, four TFL, and one fumble recovery in 2023.
Morgan played a couple of seasons with the UConn Huskies, posting 67 tackles, seven TFL, and two sacks. After such a successful year in the IFL, expect Morgan to turn some heads at the XFL combine.
LB Ben Moa
Ben Moa has a unique background. He was originally born on a Pacific Island called Tonga, but moved to San Diego in 2001.
The hometown kid was originally going to play for San Diego State, but eventually found a home in Grossmont College. From there, he transferred to Boise State, but made his way back to Grossmont to finish up his career.
Recently, Ben Moa played for the San Diego Strike Force, playing quite well for his squad. Moa finished the season with 45 tackles, 3.5 TFL, and one sack.
DB David Tolentino
David Tolentino is a name many are familiar with. He was originally slated to play for the Houston Roughnecks this season in the XFL, and appeared in the ESPN documentary covering the league.
David Tolentino, who appeared in the ESPN documentary “Player 54: Chasing the XFL Dream,” is making his season debut today for the Roughnecks. Had been cut during camp and re-signed a few weeks ago @DTolentino22pic.twitter.com/AIEyfvuskq
However, he was cut before training camp ended. Tolentino kept at it, working hard and staying ready. He was eventually brought back towards the end of the season. He played four games with the team, racking up five tackles in the process.
After the XFL season, Tolentino joined the IFL and played for the Strike Force. He immediately made an impact, becoming a starter almost instantly. With Tolentino’s eyes set on an XFL return, he’s a story to watch during the IFL-XFL combine.
There are plenty of high quality athletes who will be featured next week in the IFL-XFL combine. These indoor leagues are filled with players who are hungry and determined, just waiting for an opportunity to play at the next level.
Clearly, the San Diego Strike Force boasts key players who are likely to shine during this event. We wish everyone in attendance the absolute best, and look forward to providing more coverage of the combine when the time comes.
What are your thoughts on the IFL-XFL combine? Which Strike Force players do you anticipate will be signed? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!