Les Miles re-instated Ryan Perrilloux to the team earlier this week, though he has to complete a cadre of personal workouts on his own time before he is allowed to practice. He should return to the field on Monday.
Let's face it. Whatever you think of Ryan Perrilloux, one thing is undeniable: this team's chances of winning are a lot higher if Ryan Perrilloux is on the field.
With Ryan Perrilloux, the 2008 LSU Fightin' Tigers form a triumvirate with Florida and Georgia as the pre-season favorites in the SEC. With Ryan Perrilloux, LSU is clearly the pre-season favorite in the SEC West. With Ryan Perrilloux, LSU has an offense that promises to be as dynamic (and frankly, terrifying) as any offense in the country. With Ryan Perrilloux, we have a quarterback who can throw the deep ball, can beat you with his legs, can run the option, and can run the short and medium-range passing game. With Ryan Perrilloux, our receivers are likely to run wild. On ability alone, Ryan Perrilloux is a dark horse for the Heisman Trophy.
Without Ryan Perrilloux . . ., well, without Ryan Perrilloux no one really knows what we have, exactly. We know we don't have a quarterback who has taken a meaningful snap. We know we don't have an exceptional athlete behind center. We know we don't have anyone who could legitimately be called a Heisman threat, at least not this year.
I know as well as my readers do that there is more to being a quarterback than natural physical ability, and it is that "more" that Ryan may lack, including leadership skills and team-first attitude. We also know, however, that various members of the team have spoken out publicly that they do not think Ryan Perrilloux has reached the point of no return with them. You can ask, "What do you expect them to say" to which my response is that if they really don't want Perrilloux back, they probably wouldn't say anything at all.
It is healthy to be reminded, however, that Ryan Perrilloux has never been arrested, has never been accused of drug abuse, has never been accused of committing a crime of violence or a crime of theft. He has never done any one thing that could be labeled as truly lawless. Instead, he is a guy who seems to always do little things, like try to get into a casino with another person's license or skip too much class. Let's also not forget that the incident that got him suspended for the Bama game last year was at a time and place when he was out with his teammates, including senior leaders, in an incident that appears to have been initiated by overenthusiastic bouncers. For those reasons, I think the cries of "thug" are grossly misplaced.
Les recently changed Perrilloux's living situation. He is now rooming with my larger, much more athletically gifted cousin, Kirsten*. This fills me with good feelings, as being paired with a high character guy like Kirsten Pittman can't help but be good for Ryan.
I don't know the future. I don't know if Ryan Perrilloux will be able, this time, finally, to be able to continue his career without controversy. I hope so, for more reasons than one. I know it's entirely up to him. Les Miles isn't asking much of him. He just has to get to class, get to team functions, stay out of legal/academic trouble, and basically be a good citizen. If he does all that, he could end up as good as any quarterback we've ever had, and the Perrilloux-led Tiger offenses could be the most dangerous we've ever fielded.
*The author is not, in fact, related to Kirsten Pittman, though he would like to be.