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Battlehawks See Wide Receivers Hakeem Butler and Gary Jennings Earn NFL Contracts

Day Two of XFL players earning NFL opportunities saw several more players from the league sign NFL contracts. Of the Seven players the XFL announced that earned NFL contracts, the Battlehawks saw two more players utilize the league of opportunity for another chance in the NFL. Wide Receivers Gary Jennings and Hakeem Butler were announced by the XFL that they would be joining the Panthers and Steelers respectively.

Butler was one of the XFL’s most exciting stories in 2023. The Former Iowa State Alum, was a supplemental draft pick that sent Coach Anthony Becht a DM, letting him know he was interested in the league and playing for St. Louis. With Coach Becht taking a chance on the former 2019 4th Round Pick, Butler would emerge as the XFL’s most dominate Pass Catchers leading the league in Touchdowns while also finishing Top-5 in many Receiving categories.

Gary Jennings was the second Battlehawks Wide Receiver to begin his path back to the NFL. A fellow 2019 4th Round Draft Pick, Jennings bounced around the NFL with Seven NFL Teams before being drafted by the Battlehawks in the 8th Round of the XFL’s Open Phase during the Draft. Jennings despite being a Reserve Wide Receiver for St. Louis totaled 11 Receptions for 149 Receiving Yards and 3 Touchdowns in 2023. Jennings was also on the Receiving End of Sterling Hofrichter’s trick Touchdown Pass that saw Jennings reach speeds of 22.5 MPH which was the fastest in the 2023 season.

Jennings and Butler don’t seem to be the only Battlehawks Wide Receivers that could be on the move this week. Both Darrius Shepherd and Austin Proehl have had try outs with multiple NFL teams, over the past week. With injuries inevitable at all levels of football, the bittersweet feeling of seeing more Battlehawks join NFL teams seems to be coming sooner rather than later. Regardless, with the way that DPP Dave Boller and Head Coach Anthony Becht’s ability to evaluate talent the Battlehawks will be primed to retool once reload for the 2024 season, with ease.

For Sterling Hofrichter’s side of the Fake Punt to Gary Jennings check out my interview down below:

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging with his dogs in his off time.

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