David “Boom” Perkins plays his high school ball at Washington High School in South Bend, Indiana, squarely in Notre Dame‚Äôs backyard.
The Fighting Irish inexplicably haven‚Äôt offered Perkins a scholarship, but don‚Äôt let that fool you. His hometown team has expressed interest and Perkins, listed positionally as an ‚Äúathlete,‚Äù is rated four stars by Scout.
And if you aren‚Äôt a believer in star ratings, the other colleges vying for Perkins don‚Äôt lie. Tennessee, Oregon, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa, Illinois, and Mississippi State are among the schools offering him a scholarship.
But his coach at Washington High School, Antwon Jones, tells The Fizz that Syracuse sits ahead of all those powerhouses as the current front-runner for a commitment.
Coach Jones knows that SU is far from the most impressive name on Booms‚Äô list, but he indicated that Perkins‚Äô relationship with running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley could be enough to outweigh all other factors in his recruitment.
‚ÄúHe has a ton of big offers. One of the [reasons why Syracuse sticks out] I think is that coach Wheatley has established a great rapport with him.‚Äù
It doesn‚Äôt take too much dot-connecting to figure out, with Wheatley as the point man, the Orange sees Perkins as a running back. Jones says that while SU isn‚Äôt the only school that prefers Perkins in the offensive backfield, he is being recruited to play other positions, too.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs some schools that look at him as a running back, like Penn State and Iowa. It‚Äôs kind of mixed. Oregon looks at him as an outside linebacker. Notre Dame looks at him as a safety.‚Äù
Should Perkins choose Syracuse, Jones says the program will be getting a complete player.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs gonna bring a back with power and speed back to Syracuse‚Äôs running game in the future. He‚Äôs an explosive player.‚Äù
Delone Carter‚Äôs physical style wore down defenses, and Antwon Bailey possesses excellent speed and versatility. The SU backfield would love to have four years of both at once.
Perkins averaged over nine yards per carry last year, rushing for 783 total yards. He also racked up 180 receiving yards. Plus, his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame means he can dole out some physical punishment as well.
Jones seems sold on the idea of Boom becoming the next great SU running back, but let‚Äôs not get ahead of ourselves. There‚Äôs still no guarantee that Perkins winds up wearing Orange.
According to Jones, a campus visit will have to take place before any decision is made. The plan is for Perkins to travel to the Salt City at some point in the next few weeks, before making his final choice by the end of the month.
The big wild card is Notre Dame. Should the Irish elect to dish out a late offer, the prospect of staying close to home and playing for such a prestigious program could be too tantalizing for Perkins to pass up.
Not long ago, Notre Dame snatched a huge New York recruit out of SU‚Äôs hands. Now it‚Äôs time for SU to seal the deal on a big Indiana prospect, regardless of whether the Fighting Irish are paying enough respect to him.
Posted: Andrew Kanell