Perkins Stays True, Pledges to ASU

Perhaps no player in the state of Arizona enjoyed a bigger breakout senior campaign than Chandler High School’s Bryce Perkins. Not only did the signal caller lead the Wolves to their first state championship since 1949, but he ended his career with consecutive wins over rival Hamilton, establishing himself as the top quarterback in Arizona.

After verbally committing to the Sun Devils last year, Perkins made it official on Wednesday signing his national letter of intent at Chandler High School. Immediately after, Bryce Perkins was joined by his mother and father at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort on Wednesday morning where he announced to the crowd on hand at the fourth annual signing day ceremony that he was officially a Sun Devil.

Sporting a maroon dress shirt underneath a black vest and an Arizona State hat, the quarterback standout flashed a pitchfork as his parents, also decked out in Sun Devil gear, and cheered him on in a room of nearly 60 Arizona high school players who also announced their college plans to those on hand.

“It’s been a great experience,” said Perkins with a sigh of relief. “I know I made the right decision with ASU. The coaches did a great job of laying it down for me and telling me what I need to do to compete for the job. The coaches, I think, do a real good job establishing relationships with the players so when I go in there I already feel like I’m part of the family. It’s going to be a great experience the next few years.

“It’s a program on the rise and fast too. It’s doing great things. When I get there, I’ve just got to make sure I do my part so they don’t lose a beat and I can help them progress even further.”

Perkins starred at Chandler High School where after playing mostly as a wide receiver during his sophomore his season, he took over the reins at quarterback in 2013, completing 177-244 (.725) pass attempts for 2,250 yards, 25 touchdowns and just five interceptions. The versatile playmaker also rushed for 808 yards and another 18 scores, leading the Wolves to a 10-3 record and the school’s first-ever win over arch-rival Chandler-Hamilton.

Labeled as an “athlete,” Perkins sought the tutelage of former NFL signal caller Dan Manucci to help fine-tune his game. He worked tirelessly over the offseason to improve his pocket presence and passing skills while trying to shed the dreaded athlete label.

Perkins’ effort was hard to miss.

As a senior last season he completed 188-252 (.746) pass attempts for 3,001 yards, 46 touchdowns and six interceptions He also rushed for 697 yards and five touchdowns on the year.

“They just wanted to focus on eliminating that title from me,” he said. “They know I could be a great quarterback, so we worked during the offseason between my junior and senior years progressing my skills as a passing quarterback, doing things like staying in the pocket and working through my reads so that come my senior year it was natural to me.”

Perkins helped pace the Wolves to a 13-1 record in 2014, which included two more wins over Hamilton; once at Hamilton (their first home loss since 2004) again in the state championship game, where Perkins passed for 138 yards and one touchdown while running for 78 yards and two more scores in the win.

“It put Chandler on the map for kids coming up and it was great for the school and great for the city,” said Perkins of the state championship win. “I know all the coaches had been wanting it for a long time. But I think the first time we actually beat Hamilton that was the biggest moment for me because it let people know we weren’t playing around at Chandler and that we could close out games and compete with the best of them.”

At 6-2 and 205 pounds, Perkins was rated as a three star prospect by and the 16th best dual-threat quarterback in the nation by He was named to the All-USA Arizona First Team while earning scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Northwestern and UCLA, creating a light-hearted family struggle for the Perkins’.

Bryce’s older brother, Paul, led the Bruins in rushing as a redshirt sophomore last season while his father, Paul Sr., starred at Arizona State during the 1980’s. Despite his brother’s attempts to recruit him Westwood, Perkins, who grew up a Sun Devil fan, insists he always knew where his hart was at.

“I always went to the games,” he said. “We had season tickets for the longest time when I was a little kid and my dad always had ASU stuff around the house. ASU gear, ASU banners, all that stuff. So growing up, I was a huge Sun Devil fan.”

Perkins committed to Arizona State on April 2nd of last year following an unofficial visit with his family and despite a break-out 2014 campaign and a growing buzz, never wavered on his commitment to the Sun Devils to stay home.

“I talked to Coach Norvell the most out of anybody and I think the relationship that I established with him and Coach Graham played a big role,” said Perkins. “And then just the total atmosphere of the college and Arizona because everyone is my support system here, so everyone that watched my high school games and Pee-Wee games and Pop Warner games can come support me while I’m in college.

“It really came down to the support system and the relationships that I established.”

Perkins was one of two quarterbacks to commit to the Sun Devils on Wednesday, along with Brady White, and one of three players from the state of Arizona. While Perkins is currently helping the Wolves chase another state title, this time on the hardwood, he says that as soon as the basketball season comes to an end, he’ll turn his attention fully towards competing for the next starting quarterback job at Arizona State.

“I worked tremendously on my pass game this year so that I can prove to everybody that I’m a passer,” said Perkins. “I think when I come to ASU I’ll shock a lot of people because I know some people are sleeping on me but you know, I’m going to wake them up.”

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