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Mountaineers in the Pros

Former Mountaineer XFL HC Anthony Becht Drafts Two QBs to St. Louis Battlehawks

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Former Mountaineer Anthony Becht, who is the head coach of the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks, has added to the most important position of any football team at the start of the XFL Draft.

Becht selected quarterbacks A.J. McCarron and Ryan Willis to be part of his team for the 2023 season. It is not known if he has one in mind to be his starting quarterback or if they will compete for the job. Speculation would lend to the belief McCarron would have the edge with the more accomplished resume.

McCarron holds the distinction as the only quarterback to win back-to-back BCS national titles when he did so with Alabama. He was a member of three national championship teams in college before being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. McCarron has also spent time with the Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Raiders, Houston Texans, and Atlanta Falcons.

“A.J. brings us a championship pedigree,” said Becht. “He has seven years of NFL experience as a starting and backup quarterback. Unfortunately, A.J. battled through several injuries during that time which limited him from playing additional games. I feel like his time is now. A.J. will bring a very high football IQ, great leadership qualities, and invaluable experience to the St. Louis Battlehawks team,” Becht added.

As for Willis, he played at Kansas and Virginia Tech and was named the MVP of the Spring League in 2021. He spent time on the Chicago Bears practice squad in the NFL.

“Ryan is a very talented quarterback. He provides a good combination of size, arm talent, and athleticism. He will bring an ultra-competitive mindset to our QB roster,” Becht said about his other quarterback.

The WVU tight end turned NFL player and XFL head coach will now turn his attention to filling out the rest of his roster.

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Mike Asti is an experienced media personality and journalist with a vast résumé and skillset, most notably with TribLIVE Radio, WPXI and 93.7 The Fan. Asti now serves as the Managing Editor of WV Sports Now, manages and serves as the lead host for Pittsburgh Sports Live and contributes to Steelers Now, Pittsburgh Sports Now and Nittany Sports Now. He also contributes to West Virginia's Metro News among other outlets.

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