Ghosts of Recruiting Present: Ryan Perilloux Is Drama for All
Not long ago, Louisiana quarterback Ryan Perilloux was the apple of every collegiate offensive coordinator's eye. He was a big kid with a bigger arm, an outsized personality, and tremendous run and pass skills. His suitors were all the big boys -- LSU, Texas, USC -- and maybe that was the problem, because he wasn't a big boy.
The first clue something was amiss was his strange decommitment from Texas to LSU. Tiger fans cheered the return of a native son, but it was a devil's bargain for the blue chipper.
Perilloux proclaimed himself the team's best quarterback almost immediately. And folks laughed it off.
Then he redshirted, impatiently learning behind two excellent and diligent players in JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn. With Russell departed, Flynn drew starter's honors in 2007 and Perilloux began causing trouble for himself. He was reprimanded several times by coach Les Miles, with alleged incidents at bars and casinos.
He did, however, play that year and performed capably, tossing eight touchdown passes in reserve duty to go with over 200 rush yards. He even started in the SEC Championship Game against Tennessee, leading LSU to a 21-14 victory and an appearance in the BCS Championship Game.
LSU of course won the championship and Perilloux was all but set to start and lead the team towards a repeat.
Instead, he found himself dismissed by coach Miles.
Meanwhile, LSU's quarterback situation was a mess this year. Redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee made pick sixes a weekly affair, while Harvard transfer Andrew Hatch repeatedly got his bell rung. The team simply never rallied to its quarterbacks, perhaps wary of getting too involved after Perilloux unnecessarily forced his way off the team.
And so what was a very promising season turned out to be a sloppy 8-5 disappointment, with LSU having arguably the worst post-BCS Championship team since its inception in 1998.
Be sure to check out the entire Ghosts of Recruiting series leading up to college football's national letter of intent day
Previously in Ghosts of Recruiting
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Pac-10 Also-Rans Washington and UCLA
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Big 12 Slumpers Colorado and Texas A&M
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Former Masters Miami and Florida State
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Aging, Embattled Warriors Pitt and Syracuse
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Virginia and Michigan State Rounds Things Out
Ghosts of Recruiting Present: Steve Slaton, Maryland Terrapin?