By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Life as a professional football player is unpredictable. Your career could end at any time, but you also may get an unexpected opportunity. Palisadian Chad Kanoff has already experienced his share of ups and downs, but he was under center to start the Los Angeles Wildcats’ inaugural XFL game Saturday afternoon in Texas, where they fell 37-17 to the host Houston Roughnecks.
Kanoff scored the franchise’s first touchdown on a quarterback keeper to begin the game and the 25-year-old added an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordan Smallwood in the second quarter. Kanoff ended up completing 21 of 40 throws for 214 yards, one score and one interception.
After being passed over in the 2018 NFL Draft, Kanoff signed as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals on May 1, 2018. He was waived Sept.1 and was signed to the practice squad the next day. He was promoted to the active roster on Nov. 24 but was waived five days later and re-signed to the practice squad. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Cardinals on Dec. 31. On August 31, 2019, Kanoff was waived by the Cardinals during final roster cuts and a few days later was signed to the Detroit Lions’ practice squad. He was released on September 11. Less than one month later he was signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad and his contract with the team expired on Jan. 6, 2020.
As the door to the NFL was closing, however, the door to the new XFL was opening. Kanoff signed with the New York Guardians on January 5 and two weeks later he was traded to the Wildcats in exchange for fellow quarterback Luis Perez.
Kanoff enjoyed a stellar college career at Princeton, becoming the Tigers’ 11th Bushnell Cup winner as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year after a record-breaking senior season in which he broke the school record for career passing yards with 7,510 and set the Princeton and Ivy League records for single-season passing yardage (3,474) and completion percentage (73.2%).
Kanoff, who played in the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association from Pinto through Pony, attended St. Matthew’s School before starring at Harvard-Westlake High, where he made the All-CIF First Team as a senior and was the Co-Mission League Offensive MVP, throwing for 3,400 yards and 38 touchdowns. He had 85 touchdowns (running and passing) in his prep career.