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There are a lot of familiar names and faces in the new XFL. Most of the well-known players come from some level of NFL career. However, a player you may not know is the starting quarterback of the Vegas Vipers, Luis Perez. The XFL franchise’s QB never played varsity high school football but has been on several NFL rosters and played in preseason games and several Spring football leagues. Here is what you need to know about the question, who is Luis Perez?

Who is Luis Perez?

Vegas Vipers QB Luis Perez is a name you probably don’t know but should get familiar with as the XFL season goes on.

Perez has one of the most unusual paths to professional football you’ll ever hear about.

He played JV football at Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista, California, before quitting after coaches moved him to tight end. After that, Perez walked on to play QB at Southwestern Community College before transferring to Division II Texas A&M-Commerce.

In his final season at A&M-Commerce, Perez threw for an incredible 5,001 yards with 47 TDs and a 70.6% completion rate. Those sky-high numbers led to a Harlon Hill Trophy (the Division II Heisman) and a national championship.

Perez then went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft but signed with the Los Angeles Rams, playing in the preseason. In 2019, he signed with both the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions without playing and again spent time with the Rams in 2022.

In between, Perez played in all manner of Spring football leagues. He’s taken snaps for the Birmingham Iron in the Alliance of American Football, the Los Angeles Wildcats and New York Guardians in the last iteration of the XFL, the TSL Jouster in The Spring League, and the New Jersey Generals in the USFL.

This season, Luis Perez is starting for the Vegas Vipers in the XFL, having beat out former NFL QB Brett Hundley.

Can Luis Perez be an NFL QB?

Who is Luis Perez, Luis Perez, Vegas Vipers, XFL
Luis Perez | Sam Hodde/Getty Images

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The Vegas Vipers QB has good size at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and it’s hard to deny throwing for over 5,000 yards at any level of football, as Luis Perez did in his last year of college. He also has accuracy and is smart about where he goes with the ball on a given play.

On the downside, Perez doesn’t have the arm strength to make all the throws at the NFL level. Plus, he’s been in camps and minicamps with four three different NFL teams (and with the Rams twice) but hasn’t impressed enough to even stick as a long-term practice squad player.

At 28, Luis Perez likely has no future as an NFL QB.

Now the question is, can Perez be an XFL starter for the Vegas Vipers?

In Week 1 of the XFL season, Perez played well in a close 22-20 loss to the Arlington Renegades. He was 22-of-36 or 249 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The QB also took three sacks.

Week 2 wasn’t as good. Perez was ineffective in a rain-soaked 18-6 loss to the DC Defenders. After a 1-of-5 start for one passing yard, head coach Rod Woodson had a quick hook and brought former NFL QB Brett Hundley in at the end of the first quarter.  

Heading into the Week 3 game against the Seattle Sea Dragons, it is unclear who the Vipers’ starter is, although Luis Perez is still listed as the starter on the team’s depth chart.