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XFL names first all-league team

by XFL Press Release
April 26, 2001 - XFL (XFL)


XFL Press Release

Las Vegas Outlaws Place Most Players With Seven of 24

STAMFORD, CONN. - The XFL today named its first All-League Team as voted by players and coaches at the conclusion of the regular season. The All-XFL Team is made up of 24 players, 11 each from offense and defense, one kicker and one special teams addition.

The XFL completed its first season last Saturday, with the Los Angeles Xtreme defeating the San Francisco Demons, 38-6, in the league's championship, "The Million Dollar Game." Ironically, the league champion Xtreme placed only two players on the All-League Team while the Demons had only one.

"Voting was based on the regular season only," said Mike Keller, the XFL's Vice President of Football Operations. "The guys who were selected all had outstanding seasons and were recognized for that by their peers."

The first-ever All-XFL Team:

POS     PLAYER                  TEAM            
QB      Jeff Brohm              Orlando 
RB      John Avery              Chicago 
RB      Rod Smart               Las Vegas 
WR      Jeremaine Copeland      Los Angeles 
WR      Stepfret Williams       Birmingham 
TE      Rickey Brady            Las Vegas 
OT      Chris Perez             Chicago 
OT      Lonnie Palelei          Las Vegas 
C       Mike Sheldon            Memphis 
OG      Glenn Rountree          Memphis 
OG      Jason Gamble            Orlando 
K       Jose Cortez             Los Angeles 
DE      Shante Carver           Memphis 
DE      Kelvin Kinney           Las Vegas 
DT      Chris Maumalanga        New York/ New Jersey 
DT      Angel Rubio             Las Vegas 
LB      Joseph Tuipala          Las Vegas 
LB      James Burgess           Orlando 
LB      James Willis            Birmingham 
CB      Corey Ivy               Chicago 
CB      Damen Wheeler           New York/New Jersey 
S       Brandon Sanders         Las Vegas 
S       Brad Trout              New York/New Jersey 

TEAM-BY-TEAM BREAKDOWN: (24 players total)
Las Vegas: 7
Orlando: 3
Chicago: 3
Memphis: 3
New York/New Jersey: 3
Birmingham: 2
Los Angeles: 2
San Francisco: 2

QB -- Jeff Brohm -- Orlando Rage -- 6'1" -- 205 lbs. The XFL's top-rated passer with 99.3 rating, he led Rage to 6-0 start, the league's longest winning streak. Brohm had excellent touchdown-to-interception ratio (9 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, before his season ended prematurely with a shoulder separation against Los Angeles in Week 7. Orlando was 6-1 with Brohm as starter, 2-3 without him.

RB -- John Avery -- Chicago Enforcers -- 5'9" -- 190 lbs. The XFL's leading rusher with 800 yards, he helped lead the Enforcers to the XFL Playoffs. He averaged a league-best 5.3 yards per carry and scored seven TDs, which was 2nd in the XFL. He also had the two best single-game marks of 180 yards vs. Birmingham in week 8 and 157 yards against Orlando in week one, when he earned Player of the Week honors.

RB -- Rod Smart -- Las Vegas Outlaws -- 5'9" -- 185 lbs. "HE HATE ME" emerged from a slow start (89 yards in three games) to finish third overall among XFL rushing leaders (555 yards). Smart's trio of 100-yard games came against the respected Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco defenses. Smart's versatility was exhibited each week with his growing reputation as a receiving threat out of the backfield, as the former Western Kentucky All-American caught a team-high 27 balls.

WR -- Jeremaine Copeland -- Los Angeles Xtreme -- 6'1" -- 200 lbs. Led the XFL in receptions with 67, 16 more than any other receiver. Also finished regular season third in total receiving yards (755) and tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns (5). Came through for Xtreme in the playoffs as well, making eight catches for an XFL-best 122 yards and two touchdowns.

WR -- Stepfret Williams -- Birmingham Thunderbolts -- 6'1" -- 170 lbs. Stepfret Williams led the XFL in receiving yards with 828 and was second in the league with 51 receptions. A 16.2 yards per catch average was also among league leaders. His 95-yard punt return for a touchdown against NY/NJ is the current XFL record.

TE -- Rickey Brady -- Las Vegas Outlaws -- 6'4" -- 225 lbs. One of only two players to catch three TDs in one game (3/24 @ Los Angeles), Brady led the Outlaws with five TD catches on the season. Although he was a forgotten receiver during much of Las Vegas' QB shuffle, Brady consistently shut down opposing defenders at the point of attack and led the way for Rod Smart and the other running backs.

OT -- Christopher Perez -- Chicago Enforcers -- 6'5" -- 280 lbs. The veteran tackle held together an offensive line that battled injuries all season long. Anchored an offensive line that produced the league's best rushing attack and blocked for the XFL's No. 1 rusher.

OG -- Jason Gamble -- Orlando Rage -- 6'3" -- 307 lbs. A versatile lineman, he started all 10 regular season games and both playoff contests for the Rage. His main position was left guard, but he also played tackle and center when needed.

OT -- Lonnie Palelei -- Las Vegas Outlaws -- 6'6" -- 290 lbs. This former UNLV star returned to Las Vegas after five NFL seasons to anchor the Outlaws' offensive line, as Palelei was the only Las Vegas lineman to start all 10 regular-season contests. Consistently battling the XFL's top defensive ends, Palelei also served as the offensive leader of the team and was a jovial locker room presence.

C -- Mike Sheldon -- Memphis Maniax -- 6'4" -- 305 lbs. Sheldon started all 10 games at center for the Maniax and anchored the offensive line of the XFL's top-ranked offense. The Maniax finished second in the league in rushing offense and tied for third in passing offense. With Sheldon leading the way, the Memphis line helped the club produce the only offense to average better than 300 yards per game.

OG -- Glenn Rountree -- Memphis Maniax -- 6-3 -- 302 lbs. Rountree started all 10 games at left guard and provided stability on the offensive line of the XFL's No-1 ranked offense. The Maniax were the only team to average more than 300 yards of total offense per game and ranked second in rushing and third (tied) in passing.

K -- Jose Cortez -- Los Angeles Xtreme -- 5'11" -- 205 lbs. Shook off a slow start to establish himself as the most dependable kicker in the league. Led the XFL in field goals made (20), field goal accuracy (80) and points (60). Enjoyed run where he made 17 of 18 attempts, including streaks of nine straight and eight straight field goals made. Topped year off with four field goals in "The Million Dollar Game," including his season-longest from 50 yards.

DE -- Shante Carver -- Memphis Maniax -- 6'5" -- 265 lbs. Carver was one of the most dominating defensive players in the XFL. He led the Maniax with four sacks. His crushing hit on Orlando quarterback Jeff Brohm on March 4 was voted by XFL fans on as the league's "Hit of the Year."

DE -- Kelvin Kinney -- Las Vegas Outlaws -- 6'6" -- 285 lbs. "K2" led the XFL in sacks from start to finish and provided many of the league's most humorous moments with his unique brand of jawing with both opponents and teammates. Finishing the season with 10 sacks, Kinney joined S Brandon Sanders as the voice of the Outlaws' feared "Dealers of Doom" defense.

DT -- Angel Rubio -- Las Vegas Outlaws -- 6'5" -- 320 lbs. DT Angel Rubio teamed with DT Carl Simpson, DE Antonio Edwards and fellow All-XFL DE Kelvin Kinney to limit opposing offenses to just 65.5 yards rushing per game, the fewest in the league. Rubio also consistently came up with key fumble recoveries, forced fumbles, tackles for loss and sacks to serve as the heart and soul of the "Dealers of Doom."

DT -- Christian Maumalanga -- New York/New Jersey Hitmen -- 6'3" -- 320 lbs. The versatile Maumalanga was both a run-stopping force and a solid pass rusher for the XFL's second-rated defense, recording 37 tackles (27 solo) and finishing second on the team with four sacks. He set an XFL record for most sacks in a game with three against Chicago in the Hitmen's first win.

LB -- James Burgess -- Orlando Rage -- 5'11" -- 235 lbs. Orlando's leading tackler with 57 total stops, he led the Rage in tackles-for-loss, with 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including 3.5 quarterback sacks and was also credited with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He was forced out of playoff game with San Francisco with broken ribs in second quarter, but returned to play the final defensive series. Burgess had season-high 10 stops against San Francisco in Week Two.

LB -- Joseph Tuipala -- Las Vegas Outlaws -- 6'1" -- 225 lbs. "Samoan Light" led the Outlaws' top-rated defense with 43 tackles and simply stunned opponents with his consistently outstanding play. Learning alongside two-time Super Bowl Champion Kurt Gouveia, Tuipala served notice on a weekly basis that the Outlaws defense could shift into a higher gear whenever necessary.

LB -- James Willis -- Birmingham Thunderbolts -- 6'2" -- 250 lbs. The leading tackler in the XFL, Willis finished the season with 70 stops. Included in his final tackle totals were 10 tackles for loss. He also broke up six passes and recovered a fumble on the way to being voted by XFL fans as the XFL.COM defensive player of the year.

CB -- Damen Wheeler -- New York/New Jersey Hitmen -- 5'9" -- 185 lbs. The ball-hawking Wheeler often drew his coverage assignment on the opponent's best receiver, finishing with three interceptions and 13 passes defended while anchoring the XFL's top-ranked passing defense. Despite his size, "Wheels" was a sure tackler, recording 42 stops (39 solo), third best on the Hitmen.

DB -- Corey Ivy -- Chicago Enforcers -- 5'8" -- 182 lbs. Ivy led the XFL in interceptions with five and had two picks in week eight against Birmingham, when he was named XFL Defensive Player of the Week. He added 24 tackles from his corner back position and also became the Enforcers' kick returner and finished the year averaging 21.2 yards per kickoff return.

FS -- Brad Trout -- New York/New Jersey Hitmen -- 6'1" -- 220 lbs The hard-hitting Trout notched 47 tackles (41 solo) to accompany a pair of sacks, an interception, three passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovered on the season. He earned XFL Defensive Player of the Week accolades in Week Six, keying the Hitmen defense in a 20-12 win at San Francisco's "Hell Hole."

S -- Brandon Sanders -- Las Vegas Outlaws -- 5'10" -- 205 lbs. Known league-wide as "B. Mack," Sanders pulled out of the gates early with four INTs in the first five weeks, ultimately finishing second in the XFL in that defensive category. Sanders earned a reputation as a heavy hitter and an even louder trash-talker, patrolling the defensive backfield with unbridled enthusiasm.

Special Teams -- Jimmy Cunningham -- San Francisco Demons -- 5'8" -- 165 lbs. Considered by some to be the Demons' most valuable player. Paced the team in receiving, scoring and return yardage. Returned the 11th kick of his professional career for a touchdown by zipping 63 yards with a New York/New Jersey punt. Including two post-season games, grabbed 59 passes for 526 yards and averaged 13.4 yards on 20 punt returns. Finished with 948 all-purpose yards.

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