Contrary to a report of an Alabama newspaper, Cal Poly had no interest in former LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, Cal Poly head coach Rich Ellerson said Thursday.
“That’s news to me,” Ellerson said of the Thursday report by The Anniston Star of Anniston, Ala.
The report named Cal Poly as one of “approximately two-dozen schools” interested in Perrilloux, widely considered the top quarterback prospect in the country while at East St. John High School in Reserve, La.
He was dismissed earlier this month from national champion LSU following several off-the-field transgressions before signing Wednesday to transfer to Jacksonville State, which he is reportedly expected to join June 1 with two years of eligibility remaining.
Because he’ll now be playing at the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) level, Perrilloux will be able to play immediately.
In addition to Cal Poly, other FCS schools named in the report as displaying interest in the passer were Alabama A&M, Jackson State, Alabama State, Alcorn State and Chattanooga.
Jacksonville State head coach Jack Crowe told The Anniston Star that “there were only a few schools (he’d) seen printed” as having interest in the signal caller, but he knew “the list of real schools,” which “was way bigger.”
Ellerson said Cal Poly, which generally doesn’t seek transfers, may have appeared in the report due to simply being one of the few FCS programs in the West.
“That was probably someone just speculating,” he said.
In 2007, then-junior quarterback Jonathan Dally helmed a Cal Poly offense that finished second in the FCS in total yards per game, with 487.1, trailing only national champion Appalachian State’s 488.3.
Along the way, Dally completed 54 percent of his 192 passes for 2,238 yards and 29 touchdowns with five interceptions. He finished second in the country in passing efficiency – behind only San Diego’s Josh Johnson, drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of April’s NFL draft – and rushed for team highs of 763 yards and 12 scores.
Five of the Mustangs’ 16 acquisitions announced Feb. 6 to open the regular signing period had prep experience at quarterback, including Andre Broadous, a 6-foot, 190-pounder from Grant High in Portland, Ore. and Doug Shumway, a 6-0, 175-pounder hailing from Agoura High in Westlake Village.
Broadous, Oregon’s 2008 Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year characterized Feb. 6 by Ellerson as a “perfect, ideal” fit, amassed 44 touchdown passes and ran for 35 more scores in his final two prep campaigns. As a senior, he completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 2,064 yards.
Shumway, meanwhile, called by Ellerson the “most finished product as a passer in (the) class,” connected on 65 percent of his passes for 2,023 yards and 19 touchdowns with six interceptions as a senior.
Both are expected to redshirt in 2008.
No longer in the Mustangs’ quarterback picture is Matt Brennan, who is no longer with the team, Ellerson said Thursday.
Brennan, who started 10 times in 2006 before backing up Dally this past season, was listed as inactive April 5 for the Mustangs’ annual spring game, after which Ellerson declined to comment on his absence.
A phone message left Thursday for Brennan was not returned.
Cal Poly announced Thursday three additions to its most recent recruiting class, now comprised of 19.
The newest members are Reece Ludwig, a fullback and linebacker of Laguna Hills High who signed a national letter of intent; Harlan Prather, a quarterback and punter of Cabrillo College who accepted a financial aid grant; and Neil Tidwell, a quarterback, punter and defensive back of Hancock College who was invited as a walk-on and formally admitted into Cal Poly.
Ludwig, a 6-1, 220-pounder, averaged 5.8 yards per carry while rushing for 631 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
As a senior, the All-Pacific Coast League First Team honoree – who in 2007 was named to the All-Nike Camp in Eugene, Ore. – added more than 100 tackles, the second year in a row he had made the defensive contribution.
The 6-0, 210-pound Prather, an All-Coast Conference selection, completed 52 percent of his 199 passes for 1,448 yards and 18 touchdowns with six interceptions in his second college season. He rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns, and chipped in 37.8 yards per punt.
Tidwell, a 5-11, 205-pound Atascadero native, made 45 tackles, forced two fumbles and picked off a pair of passes as a safety in 2007, when he earned All-Western State Conference Second Team distinction a year after being named to the first team.
The Mustangs open their season Aug. 30 at San Diego State.