The Orlando Guardians are coming off a rather trying season in the XFL, finishing with a 1-9 record in 2023. Under the leadership of Head Coach Terrell Buckley, the team never found their footing as they suffered close losses for the majority of the year.
Generally speaking, Orlando featured plenty of talent on both sides of the football. Ultimately, the instability at the quarterback position proved to be a thorn in their side for most of the season – something they could not overcome down the stretch.
Heading towards 2024, the Orlando Guardians currently have three quarterbacks rostered. Let’s take a look at what each brings to the table, and where Orlando is likely to go at the moment.
Right off the bat, the most obvious pick at signal caller is Quinten Dormady – who had a bizarre XFL experience, to say the least. Dormady was kicked off the team after week two, for reportedly sharing the Guardians’ playbook with other organizations.
Once those allegations were settled, Quinten made his way back to Orlando. He played impressively well given the circumstances, and gave fans a bit of hope as the season came to an end. Dormady saw action in a week five loss against the Vegas Vipers, where he almost led the team to a comeback victory.
One of my favorite @XFL2023 stories from this past weekend: Quinten Dormady.
Despite such strange circumstances – and a controversial few weeks – @qdormady came back and posted 256 yards, alongside two TD's on 22/25 passing. Impressive stuff. #XFLpic.twitter.com/6wqhkf9i4p
The Orlando Guardians upset the previously undefeated DC Defenders, in a wild 37-36 shootout. With three weeks left to play, the Guardians had some life – and an opportunity to make a playoff push.
Unfortunately, the storybook tale would end here for Quinten. Just a week later, Dormady turned the ball over five times as the Guardians fell to the Renegades at home – eliminating the team from postseason contention.
Quinten Dormady finished the XFL season with 1,507 passing yards (68.3% comp.), 10 touchdowns, and five interceptions.
As the 2024 season approaches, it feels like Quinten would be the safer option at QB. Terrell Buckley needs stability at the position, and it’s something Dormady would provide especially if he could get another season under his belt.
That being said, turnovers proved to be a problem at times for Quinten. Additionally, he is not the most mobile quarterback around – which leads us to the other two QB’s on the roster.
Deondre Francois was a star in Fan Controlled Football for two seasons. Disappointingly, his talents did not necessarily translate over into the XFL. He played in five games for the Guardians this year, struggling for the majority of his tenure.
Francois finished the year with only 140 passing yards, averaging 3.6 YPA. His accuracy was an issue, completing only 51% of his pass attempts (20/39). While it was a far from ideal situation in Orlando this season with the carousel the team saw at quarterback, Francois was clearly not the answer for the offense – despite his mobility (10 carries, 54 yards).
The success would be short lived, though. Francois threw two interceptions, and was benched for Quinten Dormady as the team lost in blowout fashion, 53-28.
During the offseason, the Orlando Guardians acquired the rights to QB Todd Centeio, who is a promising prospect out of James Madison. Centeio has yet to officially sign to the team, but he did sign a letter of intent which will lock him into Orlando when he is offered a contract.
It wasn’t until 2021 when Centeio was officially handed the reins. He had transferred to Colorado State in 2020, and started in all twelve games during the 2021 season. Todd threw for 2,958 yards and 15 scores, but also tossed ten interceptions.
From there, Centeio transferred to James Madison for his final year. 2022 was by far the best season of his career, as he racked up 2,692 passing yards and 25 touchdowns in just ten games. He cut down on the turnovers as well, only throwing five interceptions.
Todd Centeio has transferred twice, from Temple through Colorado State, and seems to have finally found his home at James Madison, who played their first game as an FBS team last night.
Centeio brings a lot to the table as a young, budding star. He flashed all sorts of talent over the final two years of his career, which garnered NFL interest from multiple organizations, including the Kansas City Chiefs. He was also ranked as PFF’s #1 Division I quarterback for a time in 2022.
There are quite a few variables when it comes to the Orlando Guardians outlook for 2024. First and foremost, the USFL-XFL merger could play a role in whether or not the team is functional next season.
Additionally, the Guardians could also choose to pursue other options at quarterback. Former college QB Keytaon Thompson signed a letter of intent with the organization, but is currently listed as a wide receiver.
With all of that being said, Terrell Buckley has plenty of talent already between Quinten Dormady and Todd Centeio. The team itself features some outstanding offensive playmakers; with Eli Rogers, Cody Latimer, K.D. Cannon, and others set to return for 2024.
After a 1-9 record in 2023, the Guardians will definitely be making some changes to improve upon lacking areas this past season, so stay tuned for more movement on that end.
What are your thoughts on the Orlando Guardians QB situation heading towards 2024? Which XFL prospects should the team pursue? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!