The 25-year-old ex-Florida State/Hampton quarterback will be in a battle for the starting gig for the Guardians’ inaugural kickoff. Francois was an ACC Rookie of the Year award winner in 2016, a season that saw him pass for 3,350 yards and 20 TDs. With an injury that derailed his sophomore season, Francois again took the lead for the Seminoles in 2018, passing for 2,731 yards and 15 TDs. He was released from Florida State and joined Hampton University as a graduate transfer. He finished his 2019 season with 2,522 yards and 26 TDs.
Francois has some professional experience in the FCF League, playing for the Glacier Boyz, Wild Aces, and the Bored Apes franchises. Francois has shown his ability to elevate the teams he is playing on. He was able to lead FSU to their largest comeback win (22 points) as a freshman. A performance that saw him pass for 419 yards in relief against the Ole Miss Rebels.
Francois can make the professional caliber throws and can use his athleticism to get away from danger. If the offensive line can give him just a little bit of time, Francois can make the defensive backs pay.
The Oklahoma/Miami product was the first pick off the board for the Orlando Guardians. The 6-foot-1 WR started his career at Oklahoma, where he was second in yards behind CeeDee Lamb in 2019. He finished his sophomore year with 43 catches for 743 yards and 5 TDs. Rambo transferred to The University of Miami and put together a fantastic year, going for 1172 yards and 7 TDs on a career-high 79 receptions.
Rambo was able to set Hurricane records in single-season reception and receiving yards in his one year with the team. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2022 by the Carolina Panthers. Rambo’s quick feet and sure hands might just make him must-watch-tv!
Dontez Byrd is a familiar name in spring league football. He played for the Memphis Express in the short-lived AAF (Alliance of American Football) era. The shifty wide receiver was also a member of the Seattle Dragons during the 2020 XFL season, and most recently was a member of the Championship-winning Massachusetts Pirates of the Indoor Football League. He recorded 262 yards and three touchdowns for the Pirates.
His collegiate career saw him as one of the greatest wide receivers to ever wear the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles uniform. In his first year, Bryd recorded 933 yards on 74 receptions. He is useful on special teams as well, averaging 26.3 yards on 25 returns at TTU.
Though Byrd might not be the flashiest name on the rosters in the XFL 3.0, he shouldn’t be overlooked. The young man is a contributor and is consistently getting the nod in leagues. With a full season ahead of him, his ceiling is yet to be seen.