Former JSU QB Perrilloux to appear on reality TV show
by Al Muskewitz
amuskewitz@annistonstar.com
Feb 08, 2013 | 6743 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star/File)
JSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star/File)
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Former Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux is coming to a television set near you. And it won’t be anything like you’ve ever seen of him before.

JSU fans will remember Perrilloux for his passing prowess in the two seasons he spent with the Gamecocks after transferring from LSU.

Over the next month – or however long he stays in the rotation – he will be joined by four other former college quarterbacks for a reality show, “The New Knuckler”, which premiers on the MLB Network Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Perrilloux will be competing with 50-year-old Doug Flutie (Boston College), John David Booty (Southern Cal), Josh Booty (LSU) and David Greene (Georgia) for an invitation to the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training camp and the chance to pitch for them in a spring training game.

"It was awesome to be with (the ex-quarterbacks) and it's going to be an awesome show," Perrilloux said Thursday night as he prepared to leave for Mississippi to begin the next phase of his training. "It was an opportunity to show exactly how athletic and multi-talented I am. The whole deal was awesome. I was excited to be a part of it."

One contestant will be eliminated each episode based on their performance and input from the show’s co-hosts, former All-Star knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield and network analyst Kevin Millar. The winner will not just get some random spot in the Diamondbacks' camp, he'll be going as a knuckleball pitcher.

Perrilloux couldn't divulge the eventual results of the show, but said the experience went well for him.

"It was a competitive show," he said. "I felt I did extremely well. I felt it was a good turnout for me and the other guys as well, but the result is a mystery."

Perrilloux was a decorated baseball player in high school and had an opportunity to be drafted until he turned his attention full-time to football. He even thought about joining the JSU baseball team after his football eligibility expired. He was a center fielder who hit third in his team's lineup, but he said he hadn't played the game since 2005.

Perrilloux never pitched, but noted Wakefield was an infielder before he discovered the knuckleball. He speculated the reason former quarterbacks were chosen as contestants is because throwing a knuckleball is similar to a quarterback's release.

Asked if it were easier to hit or throw the perplexing pitch, he said "it's not easier to do either."

The show’s episodes were taped at the Vero Beach Sports Village, the former spring training home of the Dodgers.

The network sent a film crew to shoot scenes of Perrilloux in and around Calhoun County in December. A promo for the program shows him throwing the ball in JSU Stadium.

Perrilloux, the youngest of the contestants (26), found a practical benefit to being on the show. He got the chance to talk with Flutie about life in the Canadian Football League, which he soon could be calling home.

He said he is "definitely taking my talents to the CFL this year" in the hopes of gaining experience "to let the NFL know I'm still out there." Perrilloux spent the 2011 NFL season off and on the New York Giants’ practice squad and was in their camp this summer before being released right before the season opener. He recently worked with the community outreach program of Anniston-based Sarrell Dental.

He has been rumored to be close to a deal with Calgary, but nothing has been finalized.

"I'm just getting back to working out and trying to be in shape for whatever comes next," he said. "I've got a lot of things going on. I want to do football next."

Sports Writer Al Muskewitz: 256-235-3577. On Twitter @almusky_star.