Georgia Tech Football: Pair of former Yellow Jackets find themselves on XFL rosters

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: KeShun Freeman
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: KeShun Freeman /

Two former Georgia Tech football players have made the inaugural rosters for the XFL.

Former Georgia Tech star defensive lineman KeShun Freeman and TJ Barnes have found themselves on the inaugural rosters for the relaunch of the XFL. The XFL announced the official 52-man rosters for each of its’ eight teams on Monday. 

Freeman, 24, has made the roster for the D.C Defenders. Freeman, was apart of Georgia Tech’s 2014 recruiting class and would spend four years on The Flats, making an instant impact on the team. Freeman’s career got off to a hot start as a freshman, playing in 14 games and starting 12 while leading the team in tackles for a loss and sacks. He’d earn Freshman All-American honors for his season.

Freeman, however, would never be able to surpass the expectations following that freshman season and actually saw his stats decrease in each year following. He would still remain a constant presence, playing in 50 games over his career but never would see the same success. He finished his career with 159 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, and 8.0 sacks. Following his career at Tech, Freeman earned a tryout with the New Orleans Saints and would be signed to their 90-man roster before barely missing the 53-man roster. He’d go on to spend time with the Atlanta Legends of the quickly failed AFL in 2019. With the Defenders, Freeman will be wearing No.56.

Barnes, 29, has been bouncing around the NFL since going undrafted in 2013. The former Yellow Jacket has spent time with six different NFL teams during his career so far, last appearing on an active roster in 2016 with the Kansas City Chiefs, he has six career tackles in the NFL. Following his time with the Chiefs in 2016, Barnes professional career was on hiatus until he spent time with Freeman as part of the XFL’s Atlanta Legends.

His brief time with the Legends, however, earned him a brief roster spot with the Carolina Panthers on their offseason 90-man roster but he would be released before training camp began. Barnes originally came to Georgia Tech as a member of the 2008 recruiting class. An offensive lineman coming out of high school, Barnes made the switch to the defensive side of the ball on The Flats. He’d play in 52 games during his career as a Yellow Jacket, totaling 75 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks.

Freeman and Barnes careers in the XFL will get underway shortly as the XFL is set to begin their season on February 8th. Freeman and the DC Defenders are set to begin their season with a home game against the Seattle Dragons on February 8th, the game will be televised on ABC. Barnes and the Dallas Renegades will begin their season on Sunday, February 9th against the St. Louis BattleHawks with the game being televised on ESPN.