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Arlington’s Quarterback Training Camp Battle: Friendly Fire


Perhaps the most intriguing quarterback situation across the entirety of the UFL, the defending XFL champion Arlington Renegades will start camp with four gunslingers. These four will duke it out for the title of week one starter against the defending two-time USFL Champion Birmingham Stallions. Though not an official battle by any means, all signs point to two of these players being the heavy favorites to land the starting job after camp. Let’s make a strong case for all four of these quarterbacks below! ____________________________________


The Veteran - Luis Perez


First up is the savvy spring football veteran, Luis Perez. Look, if you’re even remotely tuned into spring football, you know who Perez is. A former professional bowler turned field general (via YouTube might I add) seems to continue to latch on in various spring leagues. Perez has been a member of the AAF, XFL, TSL, USFL, XFL again, and now the UFL. Often viewed as the ultimate “game manager”, Perez finds a way to win games in whatever league he’s been a part of.


Last year, splitting time between the now-defunct Las Vegas Vipers and Renegades of the XFL, Perez finished with 2,208 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in nine total starts. The 29-year-old played his best football in the XFL playoffs, going 2-0 and capturing the game MVP Award while winning a championship for the Renegades. He was praised by Stoops and company after the game, one of the biggest in his spring football career.


His familiarity with Stoops’ system gives him a clear advantage over the other three quarterbacks mentioned. That being said, he will not be given the proverbial “keys to the franchise” without earning it camp.


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The Young Gun - Lindsey Scott Jr.


Next, we shift gears to a playmaker in Lindsey Scott Jr. A completely different type of quarterback from Perez, Scott Jr. is a game-breaker for opposing defenses to contend with. Back in 2016, he attended one of the top Division 1 schools in the country, LSU. Next, Scott Jr. would spend a year at Eastern Mississippi Community College, followed by stints at the University of Missouri and Nicholls College. In 2022, his seventh and final year of college took him to the University of Incarnate Word. This is where he would become a household name across the college football landscape.


Scott Jr. set an NCAA FCS record for passing touchdowns in a season with 60 in his last year at UIW. Accompanying this record, Scott Jr. compiled 4,657 passing yards, 712 rushing yards, and 11 rushing touchdowns. He would be awarded the Walter Payton Award to round out his 2022 campaign, a prestigious award given to the most outstanding player in the FCS.


Scott Jr. would not be drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, and would instead pivot to coaching. He’d be named an Offensive Assistant for Texas State on former NFL quarterback GJ Kinne’s staff. Enter the crazy world of spring football. Scott Jr. would be drafted by the Pittsburgh Maulers of the USFL, then he would sign a letter of intent with the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks later in the year. After the USFL-XFL merger, Scott Jr. would be entered into the 2024 UFL Dispersal Draft. Arlington selected Scott Jr. first overall, making the Renegades his landing spot this upcoming season. 


The excitement surrounding one of college football’s best players from 2022 is off the charts. Scott Jr. is going to turn heads in training camp with his playmaking abilities. Equipped with the “dual-threat” moniker, I would not be surprised to see the 25-year-old getting snaps in the regular season, whether he’s named the starter or not. His talent level is off the charts and Scott Jr. will give opposing defenses fits all year long. The Perez vs Scott Jr. battle will be one of the hot topics of the UFL’s training camp.

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The Redeemer - Drew Plitt


Just because the focus will be on Scott Jr. and Perez does not mean the other desperados signed with Arlington are not out of the running. Drew Plitt returns to the Renegades after competing for the team last season. The former Ball State Cardinal was named the week one starter for Stoops and company in the XFL last season. Plitt would start three games and play in a total of five for the Renegades in 2023. He would tally just over 700 total yards and three touchdowns. 


Plitt would be placed on the reserve list after sustaining a knee injury at the beginning of April 2023. He’d be activated about five weeks later, but in the process, would ultimately be a backup to Perez for the remainder of the year. Following his XFL season, Plitt would sign with the Cincinnati Bengals. He spent the entire 2023 NFL season on Cincinnati’s practice squad. Plitt would not be retained via a reserve/futures contract at the end of the year, paving the way for his return to Arlington. 


Though the likes of Perez and Scott Jr. are pegged toward the top of the unofficial training camp depth chart, we should not count out Plitt. He is every bit as talented as the other quarterbacks for the Renegades and will command snaps in camp. Can he seize the starting job from those two? That question remains to be seen currently.



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The Wildcard - Holton Ahlers


Lastly, a true wildcard in Arlington’s arsenal at quarterback is Holton Ahlers. Another spring football newcomer, Ahlers brings a great mix of size and skills to the position. Perhaps the greatest signal caller in East Carolina University history, he holds records for passing yards (13,933), passing touchdowns (97), completions (1,127), and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (25) respectively. Amongst other career statistical accolades, Ahlers holds a plethora of single-season and single-game records at ECU, too. Upon graduation from ECU in 2022, Ahlers would sign with the Seattle Seahawks as a UDFA. 


Ahlers would wind up on and off Seattle’s practice squad for a few months before being cut in mid-October of 2023. As mentioned previously, this is Ahlers’ first taste of professional football. That being said, the 6’3”, 227-pound gunslinger is a gamer at the position. He projects as a backup in this Renegades quarterback room, with just as much of a clear path to starting as the other three players mentioned above. 


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Conclusion


After mulling over these four quarterbacks, I believe the week one starter will be Luis Perez. With the recent news of Arlington’s core staff staying the same, I think his familiarity with Stoops and Chuck Long’s offense gives him a clear advantage here. Scott Jr. projects as the backup and will see playing time in 2024. The “secondary battle” between Plitt and Ahlers has plenty of intrigue as well. Both possess prototypical size and athleticism, but Plitt has an edge in the experience department.


Fans may flip-flop on who the emergency quarterback will be, but I will give Ahlers the nod here. A young, developmental signal-caller is exactly what this team wants and needs. This would put Plitt as the de facto fourth quarterback on the depth chart.

Arlington boasts an offensive line that is set to include Guards Cameron Hunt and Dru Samia, and perhaps the best Right Tackle in the league in Garrett McGhin. Regardless of who Arlington names as its week one starter, the talent upfront is obvious. Other offensive Weapons including Running backs De’Veon Smith and Morgan Ellison, Wide Receiver Deontay Burnett, and Tight End Sal Cannella should be enough to compete with the other seven squads across the UFL. Spring football fans may witness the most complete set of teams ever assembled in the history of the sport. 


While it will be more difficult than ever to make a roster, the Renegades will have one of the top eight quarterbacks in the league. The big question is who that guy will be. Do the coaches go with the veteran Perez? Perhaps they had the keys over to one of the newcomers in Scott Jr. or Ahlers? Or do they go with the player who beat out others to win the job last year in Plitt? In my eyes, Perez will win the starting job heading into week one. This of course assumes that he’ll light it up in camp and beat out the other fantastic quarterbacks Arlington’s front office has come in to compete for the job.


Who do YOU think will be Arlington’s starter in week one? Let us know!


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2 Comments


aamaulers
aamaulers
Feb 25

Great article. Nice breakdown on the QB room!

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Luis earned the week 1 start with his championship win. If he falters in game 1 all bets are off.

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