Every so often the college football world welcomes a special player into its ranks. A player who even as a freshman can have a fanbase clamouring for more, whilst having opponents game planning around them.
True freshman Harold Perkins has burst onto the scene in a big way after flashing early on a rebuilding LSU defence. Under the tutelage of Matt House, (Super Bowl winner as KC linebacker coach) Perkins has done more than many have expected as a true freshman. Mirroring previous number 40, Devin White, in all but name it’s clear he has a bright future ahead. So let’s break down his strengths, weaknesses and what to expect from Perkins for the remainder of this season.
A dynamic two way player in high school, Perkins is an elite level athlete. At Cy Park High School in Texas, Perkins dominated on offence with 345 yards and six touchdowns on the ground from only 14 carries. At 6’1” 210lbs, Perkins has been a wrecking ball with 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a pick. He can do it all. As a pass rusher he has looked downright scary as offensive lines, tight ends and backs have had trouble stopping him as he regularly pressures QB’s and wreaks havoc on teams just trying to stop him.
In run support it’s more of the same, pure speed allowing him to get into the backfield and wrap up runners before they can gain any proper momentum. His athletic ability has led to him impressing in coverage too as his speed allows him to stay with many receivers and his power means he won’t be outmuscled by most tight ends as he battles them upfield.
While his 6’1” 210lbs frame might be perfect for the college game, Perkins is going to have to pack on some muscle to allow him to compete against the larger, more pro ready guys in college football. His speed can also get him in trouble as he can drift out of position when he reads an offence wrong and even his elite closing speed can’t save him when he leaves a gap allowing the offence to make a play or negate his effectiveness.
Perkins will likely follow in the footsteps of fellow Tiger Devin White, as the similarities are too obvious to ignore… yes he will be a first round pick and lose out on superbowl MVP due to an ageing star and quarterback bias. In all seriousness, though Harold Perkins is a special player and playing at such a high level as a true freshman isn’t something we see all that often. So remember when you tune into ‘Bama Vs LSU at Death Valley this Saturday, keep an eye on 40 as he has Bryce Young on his toes all game be it in the pocket, scrambling or just trying to avoid the big hit from the young star. It’s going to be special.
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