Meet the 15 XFL quarterbacks: AJ McCarron, Ben DiNucci, more assigned to teams

The first step of the roster-building process for the 2023 XFL season took place Tuesday, as 15 quarterbacks were assigned to the eight XFL teams that will kick off in February. One more quarterback will be added to this list in the coming months.

Fans likely will recognize a few of the names on this list. That list includes Deondre Francois, who led Florida State to a victory over Michigan in the Orange Bowl after the 2016 season. Eric Dungey threw for nearly 10,000 yards in his collegiate career at Syracuse. There’s even a recent NFL starter (at least for one game) on this list, as Ben DiNucci was the starter for the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 8 Sunday night matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020.

But the headliner is AJ McCarron, who was assigned to the St. Louis BattleHawks on Tuesday. McCarron played eight seasons in the NFL, mostly as a backup, but he started four regular-season games and was the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals in their wild-card playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. He also led Alabama to two BCS titles in his college career.

Here are the quarterbacks for XFL 2023. The XFL assigned the current quarterback pool to its eight teams Tuesday during a livestream event from Las Vegas.

Age: 28
College: Southern Miss/Northern Colorado
Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 218 pounds
Previous professional experience: Denver Broncos (2017, preseason); Minnesota Vikings (2017-18); Arizona Cardinals (2019, practice squad); Detroit Lions (2019); Chicago Bears (2020, practice squad), Las Vegas Raiders (2021, practice squad); Vikings (2021); New Orleans Breakers (USFL, 2022)

What to know: Sloter spent parts of five seasons on various NFL rosters but never appeared in a regular-season game. He spent the 2022 season in the USFL with the Breakers, finishing second in the league with 1,798 passing yards while throwing nine touchdown passes to 11 interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown. Sloter was originally signed by the Broncos as an undrafted free agent after a 2016 season at Northern Colorado in which he completed 62.1% of his passes for 2,656 yards and 29 touchdown passes with 10 interceptions. He never played QB at Southern Miss but did spend time as a receiver.

Age: 24
College: Ball State
Height/Weight: 6-2, 206 pounds
Previous professional experience: Cincinnati Bengals (2022, waived before season)

What to know: During his redshirt junior season with Ball State in 2019, Plitt threw for 2,918 yards and 24 touchdown passes. He followed that campaign up with 2,164 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes in the 2020 season shortened by COVID-19, earning him second-team All-MAC honors. In his final season with the Cardinals, he finished with 2,541 passing yards and 18 touchdown passes. He finished his college career with a 68-30 touchdown-interception ratio.

Age: 26
College: Syracuse
Height/Weight: 6-4, 226 pounds
Previous professional experience: New York Giants (2019, offseason); Cleveland Browns (2019, practice squad); Dallas Renegades (XFL, 2020); Cincinnati Bengals (2021, offseason)

What to know: Dungey played four seasons at Syracuse and threw for 58 touchdown passes over 39 games. He finished his career with the Orange with 9,340 yards passing and was named third-team All-ACC in 2018. He also rushed for 1,993 yards and 38 touchdowns at Syracuse despite battling injuries in each of his first three seasons. He has yet to appear in a professional game.

Age: 28
College: Troy
Height/Weight: 6-2, 218 pounds
Previous professional experience: Memphis Express (AAF, 2019); New York Jets (2019, offseason); Seattle Dragons (XFL, 2020)

What to know: Silvers set the NCAA completion percentage record for freshmen in 2014, when he threw for 1,832 yards and 11 touchdown passes on 70.5% passing. After throwing for 2,375 yards and 20 touchdown passes the next season, he broke the 3,000-yard mark in his junior and senior seasons. He finished with 71 touchdown passes and 10,677 yards over his four seasons at Troy. He has thrown 10 touchdown passes over nine games spanning the AAF and XFL.

Age: 22
College: Western Michigan
Height/Weight: 6-1, 210 pounds
Previous professional experience: None

What to know: Eleby took over as the full-time starter at Western Michigan in 2020 and threw for 1,715 yards in six games, finishing with an 18-2 touchdown-interception ratio. He built on that success in 2021, this time throwing for 3,277 yards and 26 touchdown passes, which led to him earning second-team All-MAC honors. He went undrafted in the 2022 NFL draft.

Age: 26
College: Tennessee/Houston/Central Michigan
Height/Weight: 6-3, 215 pounds
Previous professional experience: Montreal Alouettes (CFL, 2021, did not dress)

What to know: Dormady was well-traveled during his college career, beginning at Tennessee before transferring to Houston after three seasons with the Vols. He finished his college career with Central Michigan, where he started 10 games in 2019 and threw for 2,312 yards and 14 touchdown passes. He finished his college career with 3,602 yards passing and 21 touchdown passes.

Age: 25
College: Florida State/Hampton
Height/Weight: 6-1, 220 pounds
Previous professional experience: Glacier Boyz (FCF, 2021); Blues (TSL, 2021); Bored Ape FC (FCF, 2022)

What to know: Francois’ best college season came in 2016 as a freshman, when he threw for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdown passes at Florida State while also rushing for 198 yards and five scores. His performance led to being named the ACC Rookie of the Year. After an injury-shortened 2017, he threw for 2,731 yards and 15 touchdown passes in his final season with the Seminoles in 2018. In his final college season, at Hampton in 2019, he passed for 2,522 yards and 26 touchdown passes before spending multiple seasons in various indoor football leagues.

College: Temple/Michigan State
Height/Weight: 6-4, 240 pounds
Previous professional experience: None

What to know: Russo took over the starting job at Temple in 2018 and guided the Owls to a 7-3 record while throwing for 2,563 yards and 14 touchdown passes. He followed it up by adding 21 touchdown passes and 2,861 yards in 2019 before appearing in only three games during the shortened 2020 season. He transferred to Michigan State as a graduate student, where he completed 7 of 9 passes in two games.

Age: 25
College: Louisville/Prairie View A&M
Height/Weight: 6-4, 228 pounds
Previous professional experience: None

What to know: Pass played four seasons at Louisville before transferring to Prairie View A&M in his final season. His best season with the Cardinals came in 2018, when he threw for 1,960 yards and eight touchdown passes while rushing for two touchdowns. In his one season with Prairie View A&M, he passed for 2,626 yards and 16 touchdown passes. He combined for 39 touchdowns passing and rushing during his five college seasons.

Age: 25
College: Pittsburgh/James Madison
Height/Weight: 6-2, 222 pounds
Previous professional experience: Dallas Cowboys (2020-21)

What to know: DiNucci threw for 6,823 yards and 51 touchdowns over four seasons at Pittsburgh and James Madison. His best college season came in 2019, when he passed for 3,441 yards and 29 touchdown passes to just six interceptions. He also rushed for 569 yards and seven touchdowns in his final collegiate season. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft by the Cowboys. He appeared in three NFL games, including one start.

Age: 25
College: Colorado
Height/Weight: 6-5, 235 pounds
Previous professional experience: Washington Football Team (2020); Detroit Lions (2021-22, practice squad)

What to know: Montez played four seasons at Colorado and finished with 9,710 yards and 63 touchdown passes while completing 62.4% of his passes. He threw for 2,800-plus yards and 17-plus touchdown passes in each of his final three seasons in Boulder. He also rushed for 960 yards and 11 touchdowns during his college career.

Age: 32
College: Alabama
Height/Weight: 6-3, 220 pounds
Previous professional experience: Cincinnati Bengals (2014-17); Buffalo Bills (2018, preseason); Oakland Raiders (2018); Houston Texans (2019-20); Atlanta Falcons (2021)

What to know: McCarron played eight seasons in the NFL after leading Alabama to BCS championships in 2011 and 2012. McCarron mostly served as backup for the five teams he played for, but he started four career regular-season games. He also started the 2015 AFC wild-card game vs. the Bengals. McCarron had 1,173 yards passing and six touchdown passes in his NFL career. McCarron was a first-team All-American as a senior at Alabama in 2013 while winning the Maxwell Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Kellen Moore Award. He finished his college career with 9,019 passing yards and 77 touchdown passes.

Age: 26
College: Kansas/Virginia Tech
Height/Weight: 6-4, 211 pounds
Previous professional experience: Linemen (TSL, 2021); Chicago Bears (2021)

What to know: Over four collegiate seasons with Kansas and Virginia Tech, Willis threw for 6,152 yards and 45 touchdown passes. He passed for 1,719 yards along with nine touchdown passes in his freshman season with the Jayhawks. His best season came in 2018 with the Hokies, when he threw for 2,716 yards and 24 touchdown passes to only nine interceptions. He also rushed for 354 yards and four touchdowns that season.

College: Baylor/NC State
Height/Weight: 6-4, 213 pounds
Previous professional experience: None

What to know: McClendon didn’t see much action in his four collegiate seasons. He played in 23 games between NC State and Baylor. His best season came in 2018 with the Bears, when he threw for 715 yards and three touchdown passes while also rushing for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with a 4-7 touchdown-interception ratio.

Age: 28
College: Southwestern College/Texas A&M-Commerce
Height/Weight: 6-3, 222 pounds
Previous professional experience: Los Angeles Rams (2018, practice squad); Birmingham Iron (2019, AAF); Philadelphia Eagles (2019, offseason); Detroit Lions (2019, preseason); New York Guardians (XFL, 2020); Jousters (TSL, 2021); New Jersey Generals (USFL, 2022); Rams (2022, preseason)

What to know: Perez has played in five different professional leagues in some form, although he has never taken a snap in a regular-season NFL game. He’s fresh off a 2022 season in the USFL in which he completed 72.1% of his passes (124 of 173) for 1,200 yards with nine touchdown passes and one interception. Perez also threw for 1,460 yards and five touchdown passes to six interceptions in the AAF in 2019 and had 418 passing yards and three touchdown passes in three XFL games in 2020. He led Texas A&M-Commerce to the Division II national title in 2017, completing 70.6% of his passes for 5,011 yards, with 46 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions.