In 2005, he was considered the most talented prep quarterback to come out of the New Orleans area since Peyton and Eli Manning, but instead of starting in the NFL, Ryan Perrilloux is looking for redemption in the AFL.
"I am proud," Perrilloux said. "I am truly blessed to have an opportunity to go through everything that I went through, to still be playing football."
The former East St. John star will lead the New Orleans Voodoo this spring, beginning another chapter in his up-and-down journey.
"At the end of the day, it's like you make your own decisions, and you have to live with the decisions you made. So I'm not ever gonna say that the crowd that I was with influenced me, but what I would say is that sometimes I would be in the situation where I would be the name in the crowd that would be noticed."
The troubles began at LSU, where Perrilloux fell behind teammates Jamarcus Russell and Matt Flynn on the field and took part in a snowball of indiscretion off of it. From a fight at a local music venue to using a fake ID at a casino, Perrilloux fell into a pattern of disturbing behavior and subsequent suspensions.
"Finding things to do with my time, and not making the right decision. Could have been doing other things, could have been studying more. Could have been getting an extra weight session in. But just idle and doing other things."
Then in the spring of 2008, when it was finally his chance to become LSU's starter, Perrilloux was kicked off the team for good.
"I didn't see it coming, I didn't. It shocked me, it shocked my family, and obviously it shocked Coach Les Miles, he didn't want to have to do it I had a bunch of red flags already, and then once the missing class started to happen, and missing the team meeting, that team meeting I missed, Coach Miles just came to me, he came to me like an adult and just said you know you're not living up to the standards of our student-athletes, and we're gonna have to let you go."
Reflecting upon that regrettable exit, Perrilloux admits it was a move that had to happen.
"I just felt like I got caught up at a time of my life where I was making a lot of mistakes back to back, to back to back. And there's really nothing I could do than have a change of environment."
He made his way to FCS school Jacksonville State to redefine himself. Perrilloux matured, and became one of the more efficient quarterbacks in the country, but went undrafted in 2010. Then in 2011, his hard work and determination earned him a home on the New York Giants practice squad. Eli Manning led the Giants to the Lombardi Trophy that season, but Perrilloux still earned a Super Bowl ring in the process.
These days, Ryan Perrilloux is back home in Reserve, gearing up for the upcoming Arena Football League season. He stills has hopes of playing in the NFL one day, saying his journey is far from over.
"I feel confident that that's behind me, and I feel confident that those red flags are gone. And that as long as I keep working, I'll get an opportunity. And I feel like I have it with the VooDoo to go out and play and be a part of a team, and being around guys that's playing for the love of the game just like me."
As for his tarnished legacy, Perrilloux finds comfort in knowing he can only control the man he is today.
"I'm still Ryan Perrilloux, I still love the game of football. I still go out and play it like I'm a little kid. And whatever happened at LSU, can't take that back. But I'm still a Louisiana native and just the opportunity to come back and play again for the home crowd. I think everybody should just come out and watch and support."
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