UK Football

Two former Kentucky stars taken in XFL Draft. One was his team’s first-ever selection.

Two former University of Kentucky football players were selected through the first three phases of the inaugural XFL Draft.

Jeff Badet, a wide receiver who spent his first three college seasons at Kentucky before playing his final year as a graduate transfer at Oklahoma, was the No. 4 overall pick among skill players drafted in the first phase Tuesday. He was picked by the Dallas Renegades and was the third receiver off the board.

Jon Toth, a center who was an All-Southeastern Conference selection in his senior season with the Wildcats, was the 25th pick among offensive linemen taken in the draft’s second phase. The DC Defenders chose Toth, the fourth center who was drafted.

Badet had 82 receptions for 1,385 yards and eight touchdowns as a Wildcat. He was a member of the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad in 2018 and spent the 2019 preseason with the team but was cut in late August.

“With 4.27-second 40-yard dash speed, Badet’s slot skills and catch-and-run talent threaten secondaries in the deep middle and down the sideline,” wrote of the ex-Cat.

Toth was lauded as one of the best available centers in the 2017 NFL Draft but was not selected. He spent time on practice squads for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets during each of the last two years and was signed to a reserve/future deal by the Jets last December, but was cut by the team before the 2019 season.

The XFL, a forthcoming professional football league that’s a successor to the original XFL that operated from 1999-2001, is scheduled to begin play in February 2020 with its first championship game slated for April 26.

It held its draft over two days and in five phases designed around position groups. Offensive skill players, offensive linemen and defensive line/linebackers were drafted Tuesday; defensive backs and a phase of all remaining available players (including specialists) were to be drafted Wednesday.

Former Highlands High School star Patrick Towles was among several former Wildcats who weren’t drafted as part of their position-group phases but could be selected Wednesday. Farrington Huguenin (DE), Garrett Johnson (WR), Jordan Jones (LB), Adrian Middleton (DT), Kayaune Ross (WR), Bunchy Stallings (OG) and Boom Williams (RB) all went undrafted.

Former UK kicker Austin MacGinnis is draft-eligible Wednesday.

All eight XFL teams were assigned a quarterback ahead of the draft. Former Southeastern Conference stars Aaron Murray (Georgia) and Jordan Ta’amu (Mississippi) were assigned to the Tampa Bay Vipers and St. Louis Battlehawks, respectively. Cardale Jones, who led Ohio State to the 2014 national championship, was assigned to the DC Defenders.