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Monday, June 11, 2007

Perrilloux should have gone to Texas

I hate to bring this up, but you know had Nick Saban stayed as LSU's football coach, East St. John High quarterback Ryan Perrilloux probably would not have signed with LSU.

Perrilloux's high school coach, Larry Dauterieve, and Perrilloux and some members of his family were not big fans of Saban. Saban was not totally convinced of Perrilloux's talent either. And Saban has been - once again - proven correct. Perrilloux is a talented quarterback, would likely start at many schools and could help LSU this season, but he is nowhere near as accomplished as everyone thought he was when he signed in 2005 as the No. 1 prep quarterback in the nation.

Perrilloux's career would probably be in much better shape had he signed with Texas, which was the school to which he first committed. A lot of Perrilloux's problems, which are a continuing headache to LSU coaches and fans, are tied to his proximity to his nearby hometown of Reserve, which is where a federal investigation of counterfeit sacked him late last year. He has some friends from home he probably shouldn't be hanging with, and wouldn't be if he was in Austin, Texas.

We now know Perrilloux was no innocent bystander in this counterfeiting scam. He didn't just happen to get a fake $20 bill and present it at a convenience store back home as we were first told by his friends. He had between $40 and $60 and was trying to see if he could use it.

Still, Perrilloux has no serious criminal history, and federal officials in New Orleans were considering him for its pre-trial diversion program just last month, which would have meant some community service for Perrilloux and he'd be free of the counterfeiting charge and any court case. But then he got caught trying to use an older brother's driver's license to get into a Baton Rouge gambling casino. They don't have such casinos in Texas. Folks there flock to Lake Charles and Shreveport for that. He was not arrested, though, as some newspapers said. He was merely cited.

The counterfeiting investigation is nearing an end and Perrilloux may still elude any serious repercussions, but he remains in hot water with LSU coach Les Miles and with LSU's fans, who ironically just two years ago thought the future of the LSU program depended on Perrilloux signing with LSU. Suddenly, everyone wants Perrilloux out of here when the team really does need him as expected starting quarterback Matt Flynn is virtually unproven and has had health issues in the last two preseason camps. Flynn could also get hurt or bust, and without Perrilloux LSU would have only a true freshman signee on scholarship at quarterback.

If there is a lesson here, it is don't get so ga-ga over recruiting. And if you're a quarterback at LSU, quit acting like A.J. Soprano.


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