Nation’s top signal-caller to take his talents to Baton Rouge for first-year head coach Les Miles

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 7, 2005


Sports Editor

RESERVE-It’s finally over in the saga that is Ryan Perrilloux.

Surrounded by numerous television cameras, the consensus National Player of the Year made his intentions known early Wednesday morning in the East St. John library.

“I just want to thank everybody for being here,” Perrilloux said. “It was a tough decision making my college choice. To start off, Texas is a wonderful school, great coaching staff and a great program. Mississippi State has the only black coach in the SEC and they are an up and coming program. LSU is great too. (Head Coach) Les Miles and (offensive coordinator) Jimbo Fisher are really great coaches as well. They have a wonderful program.

“It was a tough decision because they are all great schools. The decision I decided to make was the best for me, my family and everybody that is around me. The school that I have decided to go to is LSU.”

The close proximity to his hometown was a major factor in Perrilloux’s choosing to attend LSU.

“Mainly it was because they were close to home,” Perrilloux said. “They have a good quarterback exposure. I decided that it is a great school to attend and being so close to home my whole family can come watch me play every Saturday. That is a big reason why I decided to go with LSU.”

Committed to the University of Texas since this past summer, Perrilloux said the chance to play early at LSU drew him to Baton Rouge.

“My commitment to Texas was very strong early on,” Perrilloux said. “(Texas quarterback) Vincent Young had a great year, he was Rose Bowl MVP. That definitely played a factor into things. LSU just kept on me the entire year and were very persistent in their recruitment. (LSU quarterbacks) JaMarcus Russell struggled at times this year, Matt Flynn didn’t play too much, and Marcus Randall was a senior so I decided that LSU was probably the best spot for me.

“(On the possibility of playing his true freshmen season) I’m going in with that on my mind. I want the chance to compete early, but I know that only the best players play in college.”

Despite the change in the LSU coaching staff late in the recruiting season, Perrilloux said he quickly became friends with new LSU Head Coach Les Miles.

“He just came in and was a very friendly person with me and my family,” Perrilloux said. “We really hit it off. I also had a nice relationship with Coach Fisher. I worked out with him last summer. When he stayed and Coach Miles came in, that kind of made LSU rise beyond the rest.

“Jimbo and I have a really good relationship and him staying there really solidified my choice for coming to Baton Rouge. He is a really good coach, he has put a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL and I definitely want to play for a coach that can develop me and prepare me for the next level.”

Having to rush to put together a recruiting class, Miles was very happy to nab a player of Perrilloux’s caliber.

“Ryan has great arm talent,” Miles said. “He has a great view of the field and tremendous athletic ability. He is a tremendous prospect.

“There was some anxiety on whether or not we would get him. I certainly realized that he was the top prospect in the country and within the boarders of this state. I was fortunate to be able to see him almost the same day I took the job at LSU. We struck a chord that allowed us to represent LSU very well. I think ultimately he wanted to stay in-state.”

With only two quarterbacks on the spring roster, Miles said Perrilloux will get every opportunity to play in the fall.

“He certainly has the physical talent,” Miles said. “The guys that are on are campus certainly have the physical talent as well. When you throw the ball out there and divide up the reps, we will see who wins. The best players will play, regardless of classification.”