Don't Get It Guys

Some guys are what I like to call, "don't get it guys." They make the same mistakes over and over again, never realizing the spot they're in, the stakes, the responsibility or how great they could be if they became committed.

Mike Vick, Stephon Marbury, Adam Jones, John Daly, Britney Spears, just a few high profile "don't get it guys" and a "don't get it gal."

Add another name to the list, LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux.

Perrilloux has been suspended, again, from the football team, his third such penalty.

Perrilloux came to Baton Rouge as one of the most highly touted prep quarterbacks ever from the state of Louisiana. He's big, fast, has a rocket for an arm, but his tenure at LSU has largely been defined by tantalizing glimpses of incredibly potential, off field foul-ups, sitting on the bench and one shining moment where he played exceptionally in taking the Tigers past Tennessee in the 2007 SEC Championship Game.

Last August, while writing about another dazzling high school QB gone bust in the SEC, Brent Schaeffer, I commented how Perrilloux seemed to be destined to follow Schaeffer and so many others into that regrettable category of prep hero quarterback who couldn't handle the external pressures and temptations of college life. I don't like commenting on the personal lives of college athletes because I remember how difficult that time was for me to go through, how confusing life can seem at 20 and how ramped up on testosterone, beer and societal expectations young men are. But Perrilloux deserves some comment because he's a brilliantly talented player who's throwing his life, his legacy and the chance of a wonderful future away because he doesn't get it.

I took my fair share of backlash from LSU fans for putting a "bust" label on Perrilloux so early in his career and his great play last season culminating in an SEC and national title will remove him forevermore from the "bust" category, but if there's one thing you should know about "don't get it guys," and Perrilloux certainly seems to be one, it's that they don't get it. They don't wake up one morning and realize the potential and opportunity they're wasting. They don't grow out of it or learn from their mistakes. That's why they're "don't get it guys."

Perrilloux also needs to be held accountable for what he's doing to the defending national champions. With Perrilloux under center for 2008, LSU is a viable conference and national title contender again. He's in his third season, he played extensively last year, he knows the offense, he's been through the fire, he has all the tools necessary to be one of the top quarterbacks in the country.

Behind him are a transfer from Harvard and a redshirt freshman. Hardly the background you're be comfortable with under center in the SEC facing a schedule that includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Perrilloux is just sewing his wild oats and this suspension will be conveniently lifted at the 11th hour allowing him to lead the team this season, but again, if I know anything about people and "don't get it guys," it is that they don't get it and almost never learn it.