Troubled QB Ryan Perrilloux Tossed Off LSU Football Team

Unfortunately LSU Quarterback Ryan Perrilloux became the 3rd college quarterback dismissed from his school this off-season.

(Philadelphia, Pa) — For the third time this off-season a big school quarterback was put on ice for “character” issues as LSU redshirt sophomore quarterback Ryan Perrilloux was kicked off the Tigers’ squad.  Perrilloux who had numerous disciplinary problems throughout his college career, joined departed bowl level quarterbacks Kellen Lewis of Indiana and Jameel Sewell of Virginia on the sidelines.  In making the announcement LSU head coach Les Miles said Perrilloux “didn’t fulfill his obligation as an LSU student-athlete.”  The BCS champion coach also added “Ryan was given every opportunity to be a part of this football team”.  Miles concluded the brief announcement by adding that he would not have any further comments on Perrilloux or his situation.

Friday’s whole event was a far cry from where everyone thought the former high school All-American quarterback would have been when he first stepped into the world of major college football on “Signing Day” 2005.  The former highly recruited quarterback from East St. John High School (Reserve, Louisiana) never seemed to liveup to the enormous hype surrounding him since his meteoric rise through the recruiting ranks in 2004.  In his extraordinary high school career, he led his team to a state title as senior and finished ranked second all-time in Lousiana’s total offense category (12,705 yards w/ 9,025 passing and 3,680 rushing).  However Perrilloux, who was also known for being cocky throughout the recruiting process, never seemed to “get it” when it came to doing his job on and off the field.

He first gave a verbal commitment to the University of Texas rankling some Longhorn fans in the process by half-heartedly saying he was coming in to take quarterback Vince Young’s job when he arrived on campus.  But Perriloux soon learned how special V.Y was in 2004 as the future NFL Rookie of the Year ran up and down Michigan on the way to MVP honors in the 2005 Rose Bowl.  After Vince Young’s performance in that game, the loud-mouth Perrilloux not only learned that he wasn’t stealing anyone’s job, but he also found out to steer clear of the University of Texas and V.Y’s lengthy shadow. 

Instead of being the next V.Y in Austin, Perrilloux  jumped at the opportunity to join local school LSU after having been impressed with slickster recruiter Nick Saban.  Unfortunately for the USA Today 2004 Offensive Player of the Year, by the time he signed with the Tigers, Saban had bolted for the NFL.  With nowhere to turn Perrilloux decided to stick it out in Baton Rouge, which we all know now was the wrong decision.  At LSU, Perrilloux quickly found out that he was buried deep on the depth chart and would be spending the 2005 season redshirting behind future NFL draftees JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn.  The next year, he did not see much action either only throwing four passess in mop-up duty. Even with Russell being selected first overall in the 2007 NFL Draft, Perrilloux just couldn’t seem to stay out of new coach Les Miles’ doghouse as steady senior leader Flynn shined while being complimented by his talented supporting cast.

With things not going right on the field, Perrilloux was a mess off of it.  He was suspended in the summer of 2007 for allegedly being linked to a counterfeiting investigation plus he was caught during the same time trying to enter a Baton Rouge casino with false identification (allegedly his brother’s identification). After several stern warnings the former hotshot recruit was given another opportunity and once again in late October of 2007, he was involved in another incident this time fighting at a nightclub.  Though he was cleared of any wrongdoing, Miles gave him “one last warning” — I guess you can obviously see a pattern of enabling and too many chances from the LSU staff, but when you are the team’s number one backup quarterback with no other options behind you, a talented player like Perrilloux always seems to get chance after chance.

But much like other ticking time bomb players (Pacman Jones, Lawrence Phillips, Marcus Vick, etc) you just knew that some future roadblock was going to get in the way of Perrilloux’s immense talent.  Not even Perrilloux’s fine performance in the Tigers’ 2007 SEC Championship game win over Tennessee, where he played well while subbing for an injured Flynn could keep the inevitable from happening.  After the unfortunate death of his father in February 2008, Miles suspended Perrilloux for what seemed to be the last time for missing a team meeting, skipping some classes and showing up late to a handful of conditioning workouts.  The suspension lasted through the Tigers’ spring practices and game, but with only one other experience quarterback on the roster, everyone assumed that #11 would be back under center come September. Perrilloux in watching seemed to have matured as exhibited by him meeting academic requirements and doing extra conditioning work.  He was even reinstated just in time to meet President Bush at the White House.

Unfortunately the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” caused the former for Parade All-American to finally be dismissed on May 2nd.  The public was never told which of Perrililoux’s offenses finally triggered Miles to get off his butt, it might have been more missed classes, mouthing off, failing a drug test, etc — One unverified internet report had the troublesome quarterback supposedly harrassing restaurant workers and being kicked out of a local bar grill after hours while in the company of strippers.  In the end it doesn’t matter as I think the move was made easier for Miles by the solid spring that redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee and junior Andrew Hatch had while splitting time for the suspended Perrilloux.

Perrilloux is expected to finish out the spring semester at the school, LSU officials said and then who knows where the talented player will land.  Maybe he will go to the pros by applying for the NFL Supplemental draft this summer or signing with the Arena Football League (AFL) like former disgraced Florida State underclassman quarterback Adrian McPherson.  You would hope the recent experience of former highly recruited Florida State junior quarterback Xavier Lee — After three weak years in college, unsuccessfully tried to get in the NFL and went undrafted in the 2008 NFL — would convince Perrilloux to stay in school.  My guess is that Perrilloux with two more years of eligibility remaining will transfer to a FCS Division or Division II school rather than lose another year by transferring to another Bowl Subdivision level school.  Hopefully Perrilloux wakes up enough to follow in the footsteps of current Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tavaris Jackson.  Jackson also left a SEC school (left Arkansas for the totally different reason of lack of playing time) only to successfully resurface at HBCU school Alabama State before going on to being a high NFL draft pick in 2007.

During his brief college career, Perrilloux completed 52 of 76 passes for eight touchdowns and two interceptions with 220 yards rushing.  His greatest performance came in the 2007 SEC Championship game, where he filled in admirably for injured starter Matt Flynn leading the Tigers past Tennessee while finishing with passing numbers of 20 for 30, 243 yards and 1 TD plus an additional 14 yards rushing. 

To me this whole incident is a shameful reminder that are many perils going from the high school ranks to college and possibly the NFL.  It all looks easy, especially for “can’t miss players” like Perrilloux, but in the end the only way to stay on track is to keep your head straight and stay focused on your end goal.  Here is hoping that Perrilloux can beat the odds and not end up on the scrap heap like former high school recruiting stars Marcus Dupree, Dan Kendra, Rashard Casey, and many others.

9 Responses

  1. Someone will give him a “second chance” at their school.

  2. Get the facts straight. Had Nick Saban stayed at LSU Perriloux would have been trouble for Texas not LSU. It was Miles who desperately wanted som recruiting success who embraced Mr. Perriloux. Does this make Miles a “slickster”?

  3. Saban refused to recruit R.P. That was all Lester’s doing after he got the job

  4. Nick Saban never recruited Ryan Perrilloux.That was Lester,get it right.BTW

  5. You should do your research, bud. Nick Saban left LSU a month before Perrilloux signed with the Bengal Tigers. If anything, I think it’s safe to assume he probably committed BECAUSE Saban had left. Wonder why…maybe Saban, famous for closing off the borders to other schools and taking his instate recruits almost at will, was willing to let this one get out…

  6. Saban accepted the Dolphins head coaching job around Dec. 25-26, 2004.(Washington Post)

    Perrilloux didnt visit LSU until Jan 28, of 2005 and didnt commit to LSU until Feb. 2nd, 2002.

    By all accounts, Perrilloux was not a troublemaker until he came into Les Miles’s program. Lack of discipline and supervision by Miles is the foundation for this. When you let an 18 year old kid come in to a new town with no family or anything to watch out for him and let him go wild, you can’t blame it all on the kid

  7. You might be right, but I was thinking that Nick Saban did not recruit Perrilloux and when he left, his successor went after him when he had committed to Texas. Check your facts again and see if Lester did not recruit him and not Mr. Saban. Saban recruits Character as much as ability.

  8. After further review and checking I apologize as Perrilloux was recriuted by Mr. Saban and not Mr. Miles. Thanks for the article…

  9. McPherson and Lee should both be cautionary tales to any cocky young athlete (and this is coming from an FSU alumna).

    BTW, Dan Kendra was offered a free agent deal by the Colts. He had radiating neck pains and numbness and opted instead to retired from football. I believe Danny is now a chaplain in the Navy, serving his country. He’s a great guy and a former neighbor, and hardly some sort of washout – after all, when he tore his ACL in college he made a great transition to fullback.

    Fairly solid points on Perrilloux – while we’d all like to blame everything from his antics to global warming on Saban…Saban didn’t actively recruit him.

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