- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2019

COLLEGE PARK — Pep Hamilton believes in the old adage that “When you look good, you play good.”

The coach of the XFL’s D.C. Defenders had his players echo that phrase in unison as quarterback Cardale Jones and wide receiver Levern Jacobs entered the room to unveil the new team’s home and away uniforms.

The Defenders will wear red-on-red home uniforms and white-on-white away uniforms with lightning bolts on the shoulders and down the sides of the legs. The helmet was revealed to be red with the team’s logo in white: two lightning bolts criss-crossed with three stars around the top.

Jones and Jacobs’s teammates cheered them on as they entered the room at the Marriott hotel and conference center in College Park. The team will be headquartered there and practice at the University of Maryland’s new football practice facility.

“The luxury of having our guys and our football operations housed in this building and this property, which is just a short walk across campus to our practice facility, is fantastic,” team president Erik A. Moses said. “University of Maryland has been fantastic. We’re looking forward to them continuing to be a fantastic partner and I think it means a lot. And frankly, Prince George’s County has been a great partner as well.”

Minicamp begins Thursday at the university, but in January all eight XFL franchises will head to Houston for training camp in a warmer climate.

Jones, a quarterback with an ebullient personality who led Ohio State to a national championship, was a fan of how the uniforms came out.

“A lot of these guys are coming from schools where they played in red and white,” he said. “Of course, I played in scarlet and gray, so it feels like home to be.”

The Defenders’ aesthetic identity is now complete, but Jones said their football identity is now up to them to determine.

“We’ll see, man. We got a lot of talent,” Jones said. “We got the ability to run the ball, pound the ball, and we’ve got the ability to take shots downfield. I think when we get through minicamp and camp and get ready for the season, we’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to pick what we want to be.”

The roster includes two players from Maryland and two from James Madison, along with alumni of Towson and Bowie State. Jacobs, a former Terrapin, gets to practice at his old campus.

“I think (the XFL) has a real good chance to succeed,” Jacobs said. “They’ve got a lot of great skill players and great linemen — great names around this league. I think it’s gonna thrive and I think the league is gonna do pretty well.”

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