Meet the former Los Angeles Rams quarterback looking to XFL for a fairytale NFL comeback
NO path to the NFL is a straight line, but Luis Perez’s was more tortuous than most.
The 28-year-old California native has played in just about every professional football league in the United States, but while he has yet to find a permanent home in the NFL, he’s not giving up just yet.
Born and raised on the West Coast, Perez attended Otay Ranch High School where he played wide receiver and JV basketball as a freshman.
With ten college offers and a scholarship on the table to attend Oklahoma as a bowler, Perez was determined to play quarterback — even though he had never played varsity football in high school.
Perez jumped at the chance and moved on to Southwestern Community College, with coach Ed Carberry telling the San Diego Union Tribune, “He showed up one day, a total stranger.”
Standing at 6ft3 and 220 pounds, Perez was the size, but according to the Tribune, “He was out of shape and had no idea what he was doing.”
Carberry said: “He stayed here for a year trying to suck things in.
“He came back the next year, but we already had three quarterbacks.
“So we told Luis he had three choices… stay, go or switch positions.
“He told me he could play quarterback, so he stuck with it.”
Suddenly Perez got his chance.
After one quarterback left and another sustained an injury, Perez was named the starter.
Carberry explained: “[Perez] threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in his first game.
“It was like he was playing Madden football.
“Luis was committed. At the end of the day, he has great football acumen and was never nervous. And his goalscoring was unreal.”
With two seasons worth of tape material under the bank, Perez moved to Texas A&M Commerce to start his first venture outside of California.
A redshirt in his freshman season, Perez started with the Lions for two years.
Perez was named a First Team All Lone Star Conference starter in both seasons and National Offensive Player of the Year in his final season and competed in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
After failing to be called up in 2018, Perez returned to California and signed with the Los Angeles Rams.
Although Perez was initially accepted into the training squad, he was fired shortly thereafter and made his way to his first job as a professional starter.
Perez was drafted by newly promoted AAF’s Birmingham Irons later that year and played eight games before the league collapsed.
But he made enough impression to earn a second chance in the NFL, this time for the Philadelphia Eagles and later the Detroit Lions.
But even here he could not find a permanent home.
But he didn’t give up, this time hedging his bets and heading to the XFL for the 2020 season, a league then-WWE owner Vince McMahon was trying to bring back after a previous season in 2001.
Once again, Perez eventually took over the starting job from NFL veteran Matt McGloin and played three games before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the league collapsed again.
He went to the Spring League the following year before signing for the USFL’s New Jersey Generals in early 2022.
He led the new league in passer rating and completion percentage, earning him his third NFL chance – this time back with the Rams.
But after failing to make the cut, Perez returned to the XFL, now owned by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital.
As a member of the Vegas Vipers preparing for his first season in the revamped XFL, Perez has his eyes fixed on the promised land that is the National Football League.
He told The US Sun, “I’m just waiting for the opportunity where I can get a fair shot once I get there (The NFL). Give me some preseason, let me go in there and compete and play and you show me what I can do.”
Perez described the XFL as “a great opportunity to come here and compete and play football.”
He stated that returning to the XFL made the most sense for him since the league’s timing gave him ample opportunity to “get on an NFL team early.”
“The USFL season ends in late June, early July, you know you have two/three weeks and you have to go to training camp.
“Unlike here, you become part of the OTAs, the training camp and all that [and] As a quarterback, it’s important to learn the playbook properly. In order to compete, you have to know what you’re doing. I think that’s the biggest thing for me, so I’m just grateful for the opportunity.
With a goal of winning the XFL championship in 2023, perhaps a title on his resume can help him return to the NFL next season.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6966052/meet-former-ram-luis-perez-xfl-nfl-comeback/ Meet the former Los Angeles Rams quarterback looking to XFL for a fairytale NFL comeback