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From College Journeyman to XFL Starter: QB Quinten Dormady’s Rise to Top with Guardians

Quinten Dormady‘s XFL experience has certainly been unlike any other. Yet six weeks into his first season in the league, the 27-year-old finds himself atop the depth chart despite relatively dense competition on the squad.

However, unorthodox conditions are nothing new to the quarterback who played at three schools over his five-year college career. Dormady began his journey out of high school as a Tennessee Vol, where he would go on to spend his first three years of college. Despite being highly recruited out of high school, the Iowa native struggled to get consistent playing time under head coach Butch Jones.

Dormday’s final season at Tennessee, 2017, saw the quarterback’s season cut short due to a shoulder injury. Shortly after, Dormady announced he would be transferring to Houston for the 2018 season. Unfortunately, the shoulder injury lingered, and Dormady would only ever take the field once before shutting down and redshirting for the next year.

In 2019, Dormady transferred once more, this time ending up at Central Michigan. Despite missing several games due to injury, Dormady ultimately put together a strong season finishing 190 of 294 for 2,312 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games played.

Dormady would end up going undrafted, and towards the end of 2020 made a move to Canada and signed with the Montreal Alouettes. The journeyman never would see the field and was cut in the summer of 2022.

Towards the end of 2022, Dormady was assigned to the Guardians and would be competing for a starting spot in Central Florida. While originally it appeared he would only have to beat out Deondre Francois for the job, former NFL quarterback Paxton Lynch was assigned to the team just before the season started.

Even so, Dormady got his first shot at some on-field action in Week 1 following Lynch’s benching during a blowout loss to the Houston Roughnecks. The former Central Michigan star’s otherwise solid debut was unfortunately dampened by a pair of late turnovers. He finished 12 of 18 for 142 yards, a 51-yard touchdown, and two interceptions.

Following Week 1’s loss, head coach Terrell Buckley declared that the quarterback position would remain fluid until one of the three proved themselves worthy of that starting spot. With both Lynch and Dormady getting their shots in Week 1, it was to be assumed that one of the two would be inactive the next week to allow the third quarterback on the roster, Francois, some playing time as well. This is where things quickly took a turn for Dormady.

Controversy struck as Orlando’s Week 2 matchup vs. the San Antonio Brahmas approached. Just days before the game, it was announced that the Guardians were releasing Dormady after allegations were made claiming he was providing the opposing team with plays from Orlando’s offense. We now know, according to Dormady himself, that he simply informed a friend on the Brahmas that he was likely not going to play the next game.

Dormady was ultimately held on the inactive list from Weeks 2-4 as the league conducted its investigation. On the evening of March 15, it was announced that Dormady would be returning to the Guardians after it was found the allegations against him held no merit.

Since this point, Dormady has proven to be the best option at the quarterback position for Buckley and his staff. Despite seeing no action since Week 1, Dormady was thrown into the fire in his first game back against the Vegas Vipers after Lynch was pulled early on. He finished the contest an impressive 22/25 for 256 yards and two touchdowns, despite the loss.

Dormady’s impressive outing earned him his first career start when the Guardians took on the Seattle Sea Dragons the following week. Another solid showing would all but cement his spot as the starting quarterback with less than half the season remaining. Dormady would ultimately finish the matchup 24/44 for 243 yards and an additional 43 on the ground in another losing effort.

There’s no doubt that Orlando has played its best football of the season with Dormady under center. Despite the team’s winless season still being in play, the past two contests have been by far the closest games of the season. The Guardians have now put up an admirable fight against two teams that were favored by 7.5 and 9.5, respectively, before kickoff.

With just four games remaining in Orlando’s season, it will be interesting to see how coach Buckley approaches the quarterback position. Lynch has received the majority of the snaps up to this point with Francois, and recently signed Quinton Flowers seeing little to no time at all. The team has been the most competitive with Dormady, however, Buckley may want to get the others more playing time to better gauge the best option going forward.

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