Perez’s path to the XFL

Tyler McDonough, Senior Sports Reporter

By: Tyler McDonough | Senior Sports Reporter

When hearing Texas A&M University-Commerce and football in the same sentence, most of the time you are going to be talking about the National Championship in 2017 and it brings up guys like Luis Perez.

That is exactly what is happening to former A&M-Commerce standout Luis Perez whose name is getting brought up and who is set to make his XFL debut next month. 

Luis Perez

The man, the myth, the legend. Two years have passed since Luis Perez took the national stage and delivered a National Championship to the city of Commerce in 2017, along with a Harlon Hill Trophy and plenty of Lone Star Conference/National awards in his arsenal. Royalty is one way to describe him in Commerce, but in the meantime Perez has been very successful in his post-collegiate days as his climb to the professional level has taken a few stops along the way. 


After leading A&M-Commerce to a 37-27 National Championship victory of the University of West Florida in 2017, Perez entered the 2018 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. Very shortly after the draft, the Los Angeles Rams had Perez on the phone and invited him to rookie mini-camp. 

His stint with the Rams lasted a few months, bouncing back and forth between the practice squad and the 53-man roster. When the new AAF league assembled, Perez decided to take his talents to the new league, being drafted by the Birmingham Iron in the first round. 


Perez took the league by surprise, arguably being the best quarterback in the league as he outplayed many former Division One quarterbacks such as Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, Garrett Gilbert, and Christian Hackenberg. Perez was efficient throughout the season, including a 359 yard, three-touchdown performance against the San Diego Fleet.

Unfortunately the AAF suspended operations after week 8 and Perez would have to find a new home elsewhere.

Perez’s AAF stats through eight weeks: 1,460 passing yards for 5 TD’s and 6 INT’s with a 52.3% completion percentage and 24 carries for 75 yards rushing with 3 fumbles.

After the AAF suspended football operations, Perez signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on April 9, 2019. Perez signed with the Detroit Lions on August 27, 2019, but was waived four days later. 


Backtrack to January 25, 2018, billionaire businessman Vince McMahon announced that he was bringing back the XFL (formerly played in 2001). The league will follow a similar structure as the original XFL did in 2001, with eight teams. 

To begin the 2020 XFL draft, Perez as labeled one of the eight “tier 1” quarterbacks that were assigned to each team in the league. Perez was signed to the Los Angeles Wildcats, however was traded to the New York Guardians on Jan. 19.  

Perez will have his work cut out, but he is no stranger to hard work. Luis has come a long way since his high school days in San Diego where he did not play a down of varsity football. Perez will be competing with former Penn State standout Matt McGloin to be the starting quarterback. 

Perez and his New York Guardian squad begin their season on Feb. 9 as they host the Tampa Bay Vipers at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ at 2 p.m. ET on Fox.