TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Two Hillsborough County students joined Tampa Bay Vipers coaches and staff inside the XFL team’s draft room on Tuesday.
Rodney Addison, an eighth-grader, and Adin Shah, a sixth-grader at Roland Park K-8 Magnet School read off the Vipers’ first pick of the XFL draft. The Vipers had the fifth pick in the “skill position” draft phase.
The team selected Nick Truesdell, a tight end from Grand Rapids Junior College.
While Addison and Shah said they were nervous after the fact, they crushed the announcement to applause from Vipers’ executives.
“Right now just thinking I just like picked…one of the first guys to go in the XFL for the Vipers. And it’s just crazy,” Shah admitted after announcing the pick.
Addison said it was “stressful” and the pair had to mentally prepare before the big moment.
He has confidence in Tampa’s newest team.
“I think the Vipers are gonna end up going maybe undefeated…strong possibility,” Addison said.
President of the Vipers Josh Bullock said the team showed up to the school last week to let the boys know of the honor and that were going to be rewarded for being “good students and great citizens in their community.”
“We were really excited to give that opportunity to our local youth, especially kids in Hillsborough County Schools. We’re trying to put fans above all and do things in unique ways and this was one way that we captured that,” Bullock said.
Bullock said everything was going to plan during the first day of the XFL Draft.
He said his various departments have been working hard to get to this moment, scoping out talent at smaller schools.
“Extensive, coaching staff and scouting department that has been working for months finding all available talent across the country,” he said.
The XFL Draft continues through Wednesday. The team has been extremely active, announcing all picks via their Twitter account. You can also watch a live stream of the entire draft.