The summer was a drip, and August is a waterfall. Missouri scored its third verbal commitment in 10 days when University City athlete Ronnell Perkins pledged to the Tigers yesterday afternoon.
Perkins stars at wide receiver and defensive back for the University City Lions. Because of the potential on both sides of the ball Cornell Ford and Mizzou have told him he can choose where he plays.
"They got me as an athlete. I'm alright with either one of them. It don't really matter, for real," he said.
When you talk with Perkins about his qualities as a player, though, he seems to lean a little bit towards the defensive side.
"I got natural football instincts. My speed. My power," the three-star prospect explained. "I like to hit hard. I see people and I know when a certain play is coming. I'll know when it's run or it's pass."
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Perkins is a three-star receiver recruit according to Rivals.com and a three-star safety prospect according to Scout.com. Neither 247Sports.com nor ESPN.com has rated Perkins.
He also has offers from schools such as Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Kentucky and Purdue, according to Rivals.
Perkins was a Suburban South all-conference selection last fall, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and finished seventh in the state in the 100 meters in the Class 3 state track championships in May.
Perkins, 6 feet 2 and 190 pounds, is a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com and 247sports.com. Scout.com reported that his 40-yard time was 4.4. He caught 20 passes for 456 yards and six touchdowns as a junior. He also was credited with 42 tackles and one interception. Perkins returned kicks for the Lions and was an all-state sprinter.
After Emanuel Hall's commitment, I noted that nine of Missouri's 11 commitments were from offensive players, and that the Tigers were probably about done on that side of the ball. That, combined with Perkins' quote to PowerMizzou above, leads me to assume that Perkins will end up a defensive back in this class. But that remains to be seen.
He has good defensive instincts per his highlight film above [insert all proper "yes, these are highlights only, and yes, these highlights are against high schoolers" caveats here], and he appears to very much enjoy making big hits. That's not the most common trait for a track-star football player, and it's pretty exciting.
Of Missouri's 12 commitments, Perkins is the sixth Missouri kid on the list, joining Chase Abbington (St. Louis via Hutchinson CC), Drew Lock, Cam Hilton, Tanner Owen, and Ryan Williams. Toss in A.J. Harris (Stilwell, KS) and Nate Strong (East St. Louis), and you've got a mostly local class so far.
At this point last year, Missouri had 16 commitments, eight from in-staters or nearly-in-staters.