Jawon Pass just completed the 2023 season with the XFL. It was a less than stellar campaign for his Brahmas as they finished 3rd in the south just out of the playoffs. Their quarterback position was like a game of musical chairs. First it was Jack Coan, then Reid Sinnett, back to Coan, Jawon Pass got a start, then Kurt Benkert, and Paxton Lynch even ended up in San Antonio.
Pass played in three games starting one, completing 10 of 20 passes for 89 yards. He also ran 5 times for 20 yards. Dating back to his college career Jawon Pass has always been an above average athlete at the quarterback position. He managed 192 carries for 507 yards and 9 touchdowns in college.
Why would an IFL team do this? It’s quite simple, Pass may not get an opportunity to return to the XFL. Given that he was essentially a rookie in 2023 after graduating in 2021, and not playing in 2022, chances are he isn’t ready to hang it up anytime soon.
Looking at the teams across the IFL several seem like a good fit for Pass
Frisco in particular makes sense. Chances are they will be making a deep playoff run. They have an established starter in Tj Edwards who realistically should be playing outdoors by 2024. If nothing else it would play on the fact that Pass played the majority of his career with Prairie View A&M located in Texas, and then began his professional career in San Antonio. This would also work to build on the IFL/XFL partnership.
As of right now Frisco doesn’t have a second quarterback. Torrance Carr has served this role in a pinch with the Southwest Kansas Storm but that isn’t the most inspiring number two option given that he is a valued member of the receiver room. Adding Pass immediately would give Frisco an insurance policy through the playoffs and allow Pass to get up to speed for a potential return in 2024 as the QB1.
More importantly for Pass, Frisco ran a two quarterback system last season with Tj Edwards, and Blake Sims. Incorporating another quarterback into an offense is never seamless but this destination could prove to be as clear cut as can be. Edwards has gone from a run first game manager, to an elite level IFL passer in just one season. Pass could look to Frisco for an opportunity to do the same in 2024. Given a full offseason with Andre Coles a former quarterback himself can’t hurt either.
While Frisco might be his best fit, it’s certainly not his only fit. Vegas, Iowa, Duke City, Green Bay, Massachusetts, Tucson and Sioux Falls all make some sense as well. Granted most of these teams currently have set quarterbacks, many could see turnover heading into 2024 as the IFL rosters are never set in stone year over year. Just look at NAZ that lost its top passer on a championship level team.
Should Vegas Gamble on Pass?
In Vegas you have a quarterback in DaQuan Neal who was signed by the New Jersey Generals last offseason before being let go before training camp. He returned to the IFL, this time with Vegas instead of Tucson. Behind DaQuan you have a young first time IFL quarterback who is new to the professional football world.
Billy Hall certainly is a promising young option but Vegas has shown a tendency to lean toward veteran options that have outdoor experience. Bringing in Pass would be the latest big name in a long line of them. Mike Davis and company have a history of moves like these so this wouldn’t surprise me.
Iowa Barnstormers Flying High with Smith
The Iowa Barnstormers have had a very rough stretch due to an early injury to quarterback Darius James-Peterson. DJP, suffering an LCL tear missed the entire 2023 season. At first Iowa turned to Zach Reader a rookie that was sitting behind DJP. After his first start it became apparent Reader wasn’t quite ready to take over an IFL team yet.
This led Coach Mogensen to turn to a veteran who was being held hostage by the NAL: Jonathan Bane. Bane a veteran of the league but albeit more of an NAL quarterback, didn’t look at home in Iowa’s offense and this led to a mutual release with Iowa. Paving the way for an NAL return for Bane. The Barnstormers turned back to Reader, bringing in Henry Ogala as a backup. This amounted to buying time for Iowa.
They would benefit from a quarterback let go in the NAL once again. This time by signing former West Texas Warbird quarterback Daniel Smith. Since then Smith has solidified the position, but most likely we will not see both Smith and DJP return next season. Bringing back Reader is an option, but Iowa likes to utilize their quarterback’s mobility, and I believe Pass would present a much more mobile option that fits the system they run with DJP at the helm. It’s a long shot, especially given that chances are one of the two veterans will likely return, Pass wouldn’t be guaranteed anything.
Duke City Gladiators Poised to Send Their QBs to Battle
Charles McCullum could be nearing the end of an illustrious career that has seen him play for every major indoor or arena football league and play for nearly two decades. Chances are McCullum either calls it quits or takes his sweet time before signing his next deal. This leaves the Gladiators with only Demry Croft on the roster. Bringing in Pass could be exactly what Duke City needs to solidify the position for 2024.
While Croft is certainly a capable quarterback, having a great backup is a must. Croft is not afraid to run the ball, but he has been used in two quarterback systems before. Could we see it again with Pass?
Green Bay Blizzard
The Blizzard would 100% need one of their quarterbacks to leave in order to entertain the idea of signing Pass. Currently they have Ja’Rome Johnson and Max Meylor who combined for 46 passing touchdowns and 26 rushing touchdowns.
Not bad for a pair of rookies. Both of which deserve outdoor consideration. If one or both of these players doesn’t return that would leave an opening for Pass to come in and potentially start depending on how the chips fall.
Sioux Falls Storm
It seems like Sioux Falls has been looking for a replacement for Lorenzo Brown essentially since he came to Sioux Falls. For whatever reason they continue to cycle back up quarterback and prominent back up quarterback to have that behind Brown year after year. In fact two men from my QBs that deserve outdoor consideration article were once backups to Brown. This could be due to posts that this could be Brown’s last season.
Dalton Sneed, and Daniel Smith spent some time in Sioux Falls before moving on as a starter with another team. Currently University of Sioux Falls alum Caden Walters is the QB2, with Seth Collins also listed as a QB/DB. However Pass could be exactly what Sioux Falls needs to finally move on at QB1. Rumor has it that Kurtis Riggs could be retiring after this season as well. A new staff, and a new quarterback could be exactly what Sioux Falls to move into the next chapter of their organization.
Tucson Sugar Skulls
Many people see this team name on the list and wonder why I would possibly put the sugar schools up here after a great performance by Ramone Atkins. Well the answer is fairly simple as I believe Atkins will be selected in the XFL draft process or wind up in the CFL before the 2024 season.
One thing that is working in his favor is the fact that in 2022 he operated in a very pass happy offered for Duke city and he played very well. Then in 2023 he joins Tucson is running a very run heavy offered reline very heavily on his feet and he again has played very well. I simply feel that his performance over the past two seasons and his relative youth cannot ignored by outdoor leagues any longer. It means there will be a competition for QB one in Tucson.
Dylan Vanboxel is the only back up quarterback on the roster currently, and while he could be the guy moving forward, I still think you bring in high level competition for him. That’s where Jawon Pass comes in for Tucson. Ironically a similar player to Atkins, Pass could be a great option for Hurtis Chinn’s offense.
The Pirates are notorious for picking up former outdoor Players from Leagues Lake the XFL USFL and CFL. That’s exactly how we found Anthony Russo as their starting quarterback for the 2023 season following his release from the San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL.
They would watch has their back up Geremy Hickbottom was signed by the XFL late in their season. Russo could turn into one of the greatest IFL quarterbacks of all time if he continues to play in the IFL, however after a stellar rookie season I expect he gets a look at the next level. If that happens we already know Massachusetts will target another quarterback.
This team attempted to bring in Cardale Jones at one point prior to the season, then turned to Bennifield, signing Russo but letting him learn the game in his first few games. He would suffer an injury and end up missing several games. This injury opened the door for Russo to take over. After the success with one former Brahma could the Pirates revisit the talent well that is the XFL cut list?
One factor that would prevent this move is if Mike Glass and Anthony Russo don’t return outdoors. If either or both players stay Pass will not be brought into Mass.
Where do you think Jawon Pass lands for the 2024 season, let us know in the comments below!!
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