The Rams added another quarterback to their roster this week, signing undrafted free agent Luis Perez.
Although he wasn't a well-known quarterback prospect heading into 2018, Perez has made a habit of proving doubters wrong throughout his short playing career — and he did enough at the team's rookie tryout to garner a spot on the roster.
"It's a dream come true, that's all I can say," Perez said Tuesday. "Being able to come out here and compete with all of these guys and show them what I'm made of, I'm just really grateful for the opportunity."
Like several of the players in this year's rookie class, Perez has forged a unique path to the Rams — having never
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played high school football. Growing up, the future quarterback dedicated the majority of his time to another sport, bowling.
"I chose that over football, obviously," he said. "I would compete in tournaments throughout high school, all over California. I kind of fell in love with it."
But one day, during his senior year of high school, Perez felt himself called toward a different sport.
"I went to the last home game when all my buddies were on the football team. And so I'm sitting in the stands, I'm looking around and I'm seeing everybody coming out of the tunnel," Perez recalled. "I'm like, 'holy cow what am I doing up here? I need to be down there.' That was the moment I decided it was time to play football."
From that point forward Perez fought his way up the roster from the ninth-string quarterback to the starting signal caller at Southwestern College, before moving on to Texas A&M-Commerce, where he led the Lions to a Division II National Championship.
Last season, he threw for 5,001 yards and 47 touchdowns, with just 11 interceptions en route to the Harlon Hill Trophy Award — the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
"What a great story, the background, the family history and what an impressive guy," head coach Sean McVay said of Perez. "Everybody that I've talked to just really can't say enough about the human being, but then when you just watch him in terms of natural base balance, body position to deliver the ball — he earned the right to be able to be on this team and carve himself out a role."
And like McVay, Perez does not seem worried about his lack of experience at the Division I level. By not getting caught up in the "small school" narrative, Perez hopes to be able to compete at the highest level and prove himself once again.
"I'm a big believer [that] everything happens for a reason and I'm here for a reason," he said. "It's just an awesome experience to be a part of this great organization. I'm just here to compete with myself every single day and be the best that I can be. The rest will take care of itself."