Pro Hockey News

Friday, May 12, 2023

USF Football’s Hector and Sails to Play For XFL Championship Saturday

TAMPA – Former South Florida football program standouts and Tampa natives Bruce Hector (2013-17) and KJ Sails (2019-20) will square off on opposite sides of the ball in the inaugural XFL Championship game Saturday in the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas.

The game that pits the South Division title-winning Arlington Renegades (4-6) vs. the North Division title-winning DC Defenders (9-1) will kick off at 8 p.m. and be broadcast live on ABC and ESPN+. The winner will take home the XFL Championship Trophy -- which features a prominent gold "X". The last time the two championship contenders faced off was last month when the Defenders edged the Renegades, 28-26. 

Hector, a defensive tackle who has started all 10 games for the Renegades, played in 43 career games for USF, making 24 starts, and was a defensive stalwart and all-conference selection before going on to play four seasons in the NFL for three teams. He was part of three bowl games at USF and helped the 2016 (11-2) and 2017 (10-2) teams post the best records in program history while winning back-to-back Birmingham Bowl appearances over teams from the SEC and Big 12. He is tied for fourth all-time at USF with 18 career sacks while logging 90 tackles and 28.0 tackles for loss.

Sails, a defensive back and kick returner for the Defenders, was an all-conference selection while playing two seasons for USF after transferring from North Carolina where he played in 19 games over three seasons. He led the team with three interceptions, five takeaways and nine passes defended in 2019 while starting 12 games at cornerback and as a punt returner. He started eight of nine games in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season before going on to spend the 2021 season with the NFL’s LA Chargers.

Sails, who spent time with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor while at USF and has a goal of serving as mayor of his hometown one day, was featured in and XFL “Know My Name” video earlier this season (LINK).

USF opens the 2023 season on Sept. 2 at Western Kentucky before returning to Raymond James Stadium to face Florida A&M on Sept. 9 and Alabama on Sept. 16. The Bulls open American Athletic Conference play at home on Sept. 23 vs. Rice.