Aug. 23, 2009, from Bleacher Report—On Friday, Aug. 21, Jacksonville State University head football coach Jack Crowe announced a one-game suspension of quarterback Ryan Perrilloux for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Crowe declined to share the details of the infraction but confirmed that it was not a legal issue.
Perrilloux, a senior quarterback in his second season at JSU following two years at LSU as a backup to JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn, has yet to live up to the lofty expectations set during his recruitment from East St. John High School in Reserve, Louisiana.
At ESJHS Perrilloux amassed an amazing 12,705 yards of total offense (9,025 passing, 3,680 rushing) while accounting for a total of 155 touchdowns (84 passing, 71 rushing).
At LSU Perrilloux showed flashes of brilliance and had the potential to accomplish great things under center for the Tigers. In his first start against Middle Tennessee State, in 2007, he led the Tigers in a dominating 44-0 rout by completing 20 of 25 pass attempts for 298 yards and three touchdowns.
His second start—due to a Flynn injury—in the 2007 SEC championship game again shined a light on his potential, as he completed 20 of 30 pass attempts for 243 yards with one touchdown.
Thanks in part to his MVP performance in the 21-14 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers in the SEC Championship, the Tigers found themselves in the BCS National Championship Game versus the Ohio State Buckeyes, where they claimed their second BCS title in four years.
Perrilloux, who had compiled a long list of transgressions that included numerous violations of team rules, several run-ins with local law enforcement, and being a named target in a federal investigation, finally ran out of chances with head coach Les Miles on May 2, 2008, when he was permanently dismissed from the football program at LSU.
Prior to the dismissal, LSU was in much the same position Florida is in today: coming off a national championship loaded with talent and experience and expected to be a favorite to compete for a second consecutive BCS title.
The aftermath wasn't pretty: The Tigers finished 2008 with an 8-5 (3-5 SEC) record.
However, given the recent events at JSU, most fans and pundits understand that cutting Perrilloux loose was absolutely the right thing to do.
It has been well documented that result of the dismissal led LSU into last year precariously inexperienced at quarterback.
It can also be argued that the defensive collapse, particularly late in the season, was partially caused by the ineffective and sometimes catastrophic play at quarterback.
This is not to diminish the challenges in the coaching staff, yet it must be acknowledged that the defense—more often than not—found they were digging out of deep holes caused by the offense.
Moreover, with the experienced, skilled, talented, and speedy defense now in the capable hands of longtime University of Tennessee defensive coordinator "Chief" John Chavis, the defense is expected to be much better.
What is more, many Tiger fans, according to longtime LSU sporting guru "Dandy" Don Long, believe that LSU’s poor (by LSU standards) performance in 2008 was a "fluke"—I personally call it the Ryan Perrilloux Effect (RPE).
The question is, will the RPE cast a shadow over 2009 as it did 2008? Will Jordan Jefferson and the more experienced (Jarrett Lee) quarterbacking corps—which also includes the nation's top 2009 dual-threat quarterback recruit, Russell Shepard—bring the offense back to 2007's record-breaking form, or will offensive coordinator Gary Crowton and Miles again have to recalibrate the offense to hide the signal caller?
Tiger fans can't wait to find out. In his Saturday morning update, Dandy Don said that in his many years of covering LSU sports, "this might be the most highly anticipated season ever." Indeed, the LSU faithful believe that they have lived through the RPE and are looking forward to fighting another day.
If the attitude (more on that in an upcoming article) surrounding the program is any indication, then Tiger fans will soon be celebrating the JJE (Jordan Jefferson Effect)!
Image by Steve Latham. Media Sources: AP, Dandy Don’s LSU News
By Henry Ball, Independent Writer & Bleacher Report Scribe.
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