The team has signed rookie free agent Luis Perez, a young man from Chula Vista who had been on track for a professional bowler. He barely played soccer in high school, instead focusing on a sport where he racked up far more Xs than O’s.
“I started bowling when it was my dad’s birthday,” said Perez, 23. “We went out to bowl, and I did pretty good in comparison to everyone else, my brothers and my father. That is when I sort of fell in love with it, I guess you could say. I started going every Tuesday night. Got my own ball, got my own shoes, joined a league, and then began bowling pretty good and got into championships.”
That took him to competitions all over California, Arizona and Nevada. Perez has rolled 12 best games.
However, Perez loved football as a child, even though he did not stick with it long enough to earn varsity in Otay Ranch High, and finally gave it a second chance. He played for a few seasons in Southwestern College — he ascended into the starting job after being the ninth of nine quarterbacks on the depth chart — before moving on to Texas A&M-Commerce, where last year he led the Lions to a Division II national championship.
Perez, who the Rams game prediction list at 6 feet , 220 pounds, revealed an unusual knack for reading defenses, making adjustments on the fly, and placing the ball in the ideal location. He threw for 5,001 yards and 47 touchdowns last season, finishing 70.6 percent of his passes. That earned him the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is the Division II version of the Heisman.
“Talent-wise, there are likely better on the market,” said Matt Storm, offensive coordinator at Texas A&M-Commerce. “But he is meticulous, he is detailed, and he is going to come up with a way to be prosperous.”
It is not like the Rams are searching for a quarterback to replace Jared Goff. And they already have a backup in Sean Mannion and a third-stringer in Brandon Allen. Nonetheless, it is a coup which Perez has gotten so far, with a opportunity to get to training camp, and another — albeit a slim one — to make the practice squad. Already at offseason workouts, he’s made a fantastic impression.