A growing debate over recent months
has featured grown men arguing over where they believe Perrilloux, the nation’s
top rated high school quarterback by some services, would attend
Last summer, Perrilloux sparked the
debate when he committed to Texas. However, he then fanned the flames
saying he wasn’t sure about Texas and began
toying with the notion of choosing LSU, Mississippi State… even South
As summer turned into fall,
Perrilloux wowed and dazzled fans across the country in leading his East St. John team into the state playoffs. While Nick
Saban and the Tigers were rolling to a 9-2 regular season in what ended up being
the coach’s final year on the bayou, Perrilloux racked up virtually every honor
possible including being named Player of the Year by USA Today.
And while Perrilloux piled up
touchdowns on the field scoring 67 (37 passing, 30 rushing) in his senior
season, he had the ability to dole out sound bytes with the same propensity. The
media blitz surrounding Perrilloux grew to record heights as the 6-2, 207-pound
superstar became quite the media hound. Phrases like “shock the world” and “jaws
will drop” kept reporters coming back for more.
One year removed from the most
notorious happening ever in prep football recruiting, that being the saga of
linebacker Willie Williams, the media circus surrounding Perrilloux became an
Internet soap opera.
“Will he or won’t he? Can he or
can’t he? Where will Ryan go?”
Fans and the media alike hung on
his every word and Perrilloux relished the almost god-like status. On a visit to
LSU a week before signing day, Perrilloux was wooed by the Tiger student section
at a basketball game. As he walked to his seat, the students chanted Pair-A-Lew,
After watching the likes of Randy
Moss (mooning), Terrell Owens (the Sharpie incident) and Joe Horn (cell phone)
allow such attention to go straight to their heads, one can only imagine what
this must do to an 18-year-old high school senior being revered as royalty
everywhere he goes.
That being said, when USAToday.com
published a story Wednesday morning in which Perrilloux was quoted as to why he
chose LSU, what he said was not a shocker.
Perrilloux told Houston-based
freelance writer Thayer Evans, “JaMarcus Russell struggled last year and Matt
Flynn is definitely not a better quarterback than me.”
This guy makes friends
However, in the fallout of the USA
Today article, LSU issued a press release stating Perrilloux was misquoted. The
university said the statement Perrilloux made at his press conference read this
way: “JaMarcus kind of struggled a little bit. Matt Flynn really didn’t play too
much. Marcus Randall was a senior so I decided LSU probably was the best spot
And don’t blame LSU, that WAS what
Perrilloux said at the press conference.
However, after speaking with Evans
Thursday evening, a phone conversation in which Evans allowed Tiger Rag the
opportunity to listen to the tape of a one-on-one interview he had with
Perrilloux following the press conference Wednesday, indeed the comments Evans
printed in USA Today were accurate.
Also in that interview, Perrilloux
was quoted as saying he would “throw for 2000 yards next season” as well as be a
“Heisman Trophy candidate.”
While Perrilloux is a gifted
athlete and his statistics at the high school level are eye-popping, these are
pretty strong statements from a guy who will be challenging the likes JaMarcus
Russell and Matt Flynn, who just two years earlier came to LSU with the same
type credentials as himself. Plus, toss in the added incentive Flynn and Russell
now have after hearing those comments, Perrilloux had better be as good as he
says he is.
While Perrilloux’s comments are
quite shocking as well as abrasive, you cannot totally fault the prep star for
allowing his abilities and accomplishments to go to his head. Imagine if you
were a high school senior and every media outlet in America was
coming to your high school on a daily basis all the while hanging on your every
word. It is obvious the craze surrounding recruiting has gotten a bit out of
hand. From regional television recruiting broadcasts to publishing a recruit’s
personal journal on national websites and in newspapers, the media has created
the current level of egotism that surrounds recruiting.
Watching Martellus Bennett on Fox
Sports News Tuesday night flipping a coin on regional television then choosing
neither school featured on the coin to the everyday saga of Perrilloux, it is no
wonder why these over-hyped prep stars get the big head.
While the Perrilloux issue will
fade as the dawn of a new recruiting season is upon us, you must wonder what
will be the fallout from what Perrilloux subsequently did or did not
First and foremost, the policy of
freshman not speaking to the media enforced during Saban’s five seasons in
should be kept in tact by Miles, which should save LSU from any potential
disasters in the coming year, a critical one for Miles and his staff.
Next, Perrilloux needs to spend
some quality time with Seimone Augustus. Without a doubt the premiere women’s
college basketball player in the country, Augustus was heralded by athletic
director Skip Bertman as the “most important recruit in the history of LSU
Those are some pretty lofty
But Augustus, with little fanfare
or self-absorption, has helped turn the Lady Tigers into the class of women’s
college hoops. Still as shy as she was the first day on campus, Augustus is
clearly the most dominant player in her sport.
And if not Augustus, how about
Michael Clayton or Marcus Spears? These guys got it done without a lot of hype
after coming to LSU rated as the best at their respective positions.
Perrilloux had better take a lesson
from these LSU greats because humble pie will be a bitter pill to swallow come
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger
Rag Magazine. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.