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Mar. 11, 2010 - David Nestoff

Second-Chance Signal Callers

Sometimes, a college career goes exactly as planned. All fanfare and expectations are met, and the results speak for themselves. But as often as that happens there are those recruits who fall short. Sometimes it’s a bad situation, filled with disagreements and laced with trouble. Sometimes the location is the issue, being a big city filled with too many opportunities to go the wrong way.

Sometimes, it’s as good an idea to leave a school as it is to stay, regardless of the opportunities that were once there, or the size of the school.

Change can be the best thing, which is just the way it panned out for three formerly high-profile Division I quarterback prospects turned NFL-hopefuls for the 2010 Draft. There might have been less fanfare and no limelight, but for Jacksonville State’s Ryan Perrilloux, Ole Miss’s Jevan Snead and Arkansas Tech’s Nick Graziano, change was the best thing, especially to boost their stock as NFL prospects.

Ryan Perrilloux, Jacksonville State
Baton Rouge never agreed with Perrilloux, who came out of Louisiana as one of the top prospects in the nation for both his arm and his legs. After tumultuous freshman and sophomore seasons in which he showed flashes of his high school self and even more of a troubled co-ed, Perrilloux was dismissed from the Tigers by coach Les Miles.

Upon transferring to Jacksonville State in 2008, just months after his dismissal, Perrilloux became the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks. In leading JSU to back-to-back 8-3 seasons, he lived up to hype. The Gamecocks averaged 31.7 and 35 points per game with Perrilloux under center. His marquee performance came in the 2009 season, when the senior was honored as the Ohio Valley Conference offensive player of the year. Perrilloux threw for 23 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions, and had a passer rating of 172.6. He was also second on the team in rushing both years at JSU, and he rushed for 15 touchdowns.

Jevan Snead, Ole Miss
With a roadblock named Colt McCoy in between Snead and playing time at Texas, the former Texas-high school standout decided to transfer after his freshman season. It proved to be the right move for the Longhorns in the long run, and also for Snead.

Snead transferred to Ole Miss, where he had to sit out his 2007 season because of NCAA transfer rules. But in 2008, Snead brought back some of the spark the Rebels had been missing at quarterback since Eli Manning went pro. As a redshirt sophomore, Snead finished the 2008 season with the third highest passer rating in the SEC, behind only Tim Tebow and Matthew Stafford. His 18 wins as the Ole Miss signal caller (18-8 record) was four more than the team had in the previous four years. Snead was also the first passer for the Rebels to throw for 2000 yards since Manning.

Nick Graziano, Arkansas Tech
Graziano lost what could have been his starting job at Nevada after he broke his foot and ended his season in 2007. He was relegated to the backup role when standout and then-freshman Colin Kaepernick joined the Wolfpack in 2008.

Graziano transferred to Arkansas Tech, a Division II school, where he earned the starting job for the 2009 season. ATU averaged over 40 points per game with Graziano at quarterback. The team went from 5-5 in 2008 to 9-3 in 2009, a year in which they also made the Division II National Playoffs. On his way to averaging 397.3 yards per game in total offense, the former transfer led the team in both passing and rushing yards. He threw for 4300 yards and 38 touchdowns in his one year at Arkansas Tech.

These three quarterbacks are all applying for one more transfer, and that's to the NFL.