Five college quarterbacks. Five of the most intensely recruited and highly acclaimed signal-callers of the past four years. Four of them will not finish college where they started while the fifth, Lee, would not have finished college as a quarterback had he chosen to stay.
As difficult as it may be to woo the nation's No. 1 or 2 high school quarterback to your school — just ask Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez — it is no less difficult to keep him there. Just ask … Rich Rodriguez.
Take a look at the top-two rated prep quarterbacks in the nation, according to Rivals.com, in each of the past four years. Five of those eight are no longer at the schools with which they signed. Only Mark Sanchez (USC), Matthew Stafford (Georgia) and Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame), all of whom should start next September, are still on the campus to which they committed. And if this winter's courting of dynamic but diffident Terrelle Pryor (who signed with Ohio State after taking a long look at the Wolverines) is any indication, another quarterback exodus in the coming years should not come as a shock.
Perrilloux, who only three weeks earlier visited the White House with his LSU teammates in honor of their BCS championship, was dismissed from the team last Friday. His tale may be the saddest of the five because of how much he squandered. The Louisiana single-season prep record-holder for total yards (5,062), Perrilloux is a dual-threat quarterback who was being counted on to take the reins at an SEC powerhouse coming off a national championship season. If that role sounds familiar, it should: it is the same one that Tim Tebow played at Florida last season en route to winning the Heisman Trophy.
An athletic marvel, Perrilloux's off-field exploits constantly tested Miles' patience. In January 2007 his name surfaced in a federal counterfeiting investigation. Last May he attempted to use his brother's ID to get into a casino. In October he was involved in a fight at a popular student hangout, the Varsity. And this winter he missed several classes, team meetings and conditioning workouts.
Whether Perrilloux was lazy, or distracted, or simply felt invulnerable — the Tigers are mighty vulnerable at quarterback without him — he never could put the team ahead of himself.
Unlike Perrilloux, Ryan Mallett was a victim of circumstance. The No. 2 rated quarterback, after Clausen, of the 2007 high school class, Mallett seemingly was stepping into an ideal situation in Ann Arbor. Incumbent Chad Henne was a senior last autumn. The 6-7 pocket-passer could have red-shirted last season and then been atop the depth chart in 2008.
Then Michigan lost its first two games at home to Appalachian State and Oregon. Henne got hurt and Mallett played. Then Lloyd Carr retired and was replaced by Rodriquez, who favors the spread-option offense, which is optimized by having a nimble quarterback who is as likely a threat to run as to pass. Having Mallett run the spread-option might have been like giving Superman a desk job.
Thus Mallett, a Texarkana, Ark., native returned home and enrolled at Arkansas. The Razorbacks will have a vacancy at quarterback in 2009 — when Mallett is eligible after having to sit out the upcoming season — because Mitch Mustain is no longer there.
Mustain's tale is the most incredible. As a high school senior in Springdale, Ark., Mustain was named Gatorade National Player of the Year, Parade Magazine Player of the Year and USA Today National Player of the Year following a 2005 season in which he led Springdale to a 14-0 record and state championship while setting the state's single-season passing yardage mark (3,817 yards). As a true freshman in Fayetteville, Mustain went 8-0 as a starter as the Hogs finished 10-4 overall. And, by the way, he had Heisman runner-up Darren McFadden, only a sophomore, in his backfield.
Who could ask for a better situation?
Apparently, Mustain could. Unhappy that the Hogs were more dedicated to the ground game than he had been promised (Mustain's high school coach, Gus Malzahn, had been hired as the Razorbacks' offenisve coordinator), Mustain — and his parents — took up the issue with athletic director Frank Broyles. News of the meeting leaked and Mustain was portrayed —somewhat deservedly — as a spoiled child.
The situation only deteriorated when Teresa Prewett, a Hog booster and close friend of then head coach Houston Nutt, sent the following email to Mustain:
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Prewett got her wish; Mustain transferred to Southern California. After sitting out last season, he lost out on the starting job in spring practice to Mark Sanchez, a 4th-year junior. Mustain still has three years of eligibility remaining, but Sanchez has two. How content Mustain, whose record as a starter in high school and college is 60-2, will be to play behind Sanchez for potentially two seasons remains to be seen. As he said last week after learning that Sanchez was No. 1 on Pete Carroll's depth chart, "I didn't come here to be a backup."
Then there's Rhett Bomar. In 2004 Adrian Peterson was the most coveted high school player in the country, while Bomar was the most sought-after quarterback. Both were Texans and both had committed to Oklahoma. The Sooners seemed destined to rule college football in the coming half-decade.
Instead, Bomar was booted from the team during the summer following his redshirt freshman season. Bomar had taken a summer job with a Norman, Okla., auto dealership owned by a Sooner booster that paid extremely well if you happened to be the team's starting quarterback. Bomar was not completely innocent, but neither was Oklahoma.
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick he wishes he was spoken to in private prior to the insults.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Saban hurt by colleagues' comments?
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick what he think of these comments.
BCS title game
Pregame color, key plays and other moments from 'Bama's blowout win.
Check out the action from the postseason.
Check out which players were best of the best at each position.
Check out some of the college football cheerleaders from across the country.