Quick, somebody call Tony Dungy. He needs to hurry down to Jacksonville, AL. Another troubled football player, a quarterback no less, needs his mentoring skills.
A few days ago, Jacksonville State senior quarterback Ryan Perrilloux was suspended for violating team rules and will miss the Gamecocks' season opener Sept. 5 at Georgia Tech.
You might remember the only reason Perrilloux is at Jacksonville State is he was kicked off the LSU team by Coach Les Miles for several off-the-field incidents.
In announcing Perrilloux's suspension, Jacksonville State head coach Jack Crowe mentioned words such as "hurt" and "sad."
"I'm hurt by it, to be honest," Crowe said. ... "It's sad because I think there will be some things assumed about Ryan that shouldn't be, but that's the nature of the game."
Crowe shouldn't be hurt or sad. I don't know what team rules Perrilloux broke, but it appears Perrilloux is just continuing the self-destructing behavior that he displayed at LSU. Perhaps, it's just in his nature or character to run afoul of team rules (and the law) just like it is for so many football players (the names of Adam "Pac Man" Jones, Plaxico Burress and Maurice Clarrett readily come to mind).
No one questions Perrilloux's talent. If he had been at LSU last year, the Tigers might have won the 2008 national championship. All they needed was a dynamic quarterback. Instead, Perrilloux was at Jacksonville State, setting passing records for the Gamecocks.
Perrilloux obviously has enough skill to play at the next level -- Frank Cooney's NFL Draft Scout ranks him 13th out of 135 college quarterbacks for the 2010 NFL draft -- but character issues might keep teams from wasting a draft pick on him. He could prove to be a headache for a team and become another notch on NFL sheriff, er commissioner, Roger Goddell's belt.
Of course, Perrilloux could get some mentoring help by putting in a call for Dungy. After all, look what Dungy has done with Michael Vick, getting him back into the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles after he was released from prison earlier this summer for running a dogfighting ring.
If Vick can spare Dungy, Perrilloux sure could use him. Otherwise, his promising football career could end up on the ash heap.