"He's pretty special," added Coach Moore. "Shaquille Perry is just a good kid who works hard. He is definitely the leader of our team. Shaq makes everyone around him better."
Last season Perry did a little bit of everything for Walnut High.
"Shaq played tailback, QB in the Wild Cat formation, slot, outside linebacker, and he punted and was our return specialist. He made All-State (2nd team) as a return man. He rushed for 1, 197 yards and 21 TDs. He had like two punt returns for TD's and a kickoff for a TD. He is not going to be a punter in college by any means, but the young man averaged 38.8 yards a punt for us. We just measured him last week, and he stands 6' 1 3/4", 208 without his shoes on. He played at 215 for us last year, but he has been in basketball and lost a few pounds. The kid has all the intangibles to be a star on the next level."
What are Perry's strengths on the field?
"He is a big tailback. Shaq gets the tough inside yards and always moves the pile forward, but he has speed to go the distance too. He is one of those typical big power backs in the SEC."
Are the colleges looking at him to play running back on the next level?
"I think he could play on either side of the ball but I think offense, either out of the backfield or out of the slot, is where he will end up. Shaq has really good hands, but he could go either way. Nobody has really told us out of the four schools that are recruiting him where he will play. USM did tell him today that they like him on the offensive side of the ball, but the other three we are just waiting to see."
Who are the four colleges recruiting Shaq?
"Ole Miss, USM, MSU, and Memphis. The only official offer he has right now is USM."
The 2009 Tippah County Offensive Player of the Year visited Ole Miss unofficially Friday to check out the campus.
"He had a really good time," added Coach Moore. "He really likes Coach (Derrick) Nix and was really impressed with their facilities. They treated him really good."
What questions were on his mind about Ole Miss before he came on the trip?
"He was just excited to be on their campus. Shaq is just a good ole country boy, and he has not been to too many places. I think he had been to their campus maybe one other time, and that is about it. He is learning something every day when he makes these visits."
What stood out to Perry about the Rebels on the trip?
"I think he really liked the Indoor Training Complex, and he has developed a good connection with Coach Nix."
Did Ole Miss talk about their future plans for the 2009 Division 1 (2A) Offensive MVP?
"They told him he was in a position where they were about to start recruiting him really hard, and they left it at that. They did not say anything to us about which position he would play. The tape I sent them was mostly on offense, all but like five plays, so I am thinking running back."
Shaq visited MSU earlier this month for one of their Jr Days.
"I did not take him on that visit, but in my talks with him, he really liked it. He has some family connections there. Shaq's half brother is Pig Prather and his cousin is Michael Haddox. MSU has been recruiting him for about a year so he has kind of gotten comfortable with those coaches, but he is keeping an open mind. He just wants to see all of the places, work hard, and get qualified and make a decision. I feel like State is going to offer, but they have not yet."
What are MSU's plans for Perry?
"I do not think they mentioned that, but they have been recruiting him hard for a while. They have been talking to him about both sides of the ball. They were really looking at him more for free safety, but then they started talking about tailback. It is just a wait and see."
What stands out about State for Shaq?
"He really likes coach (Scott) Sallach. They have developed a good bond. He likes Coach Ferrill for USM too. Barney was actually the first coach to call and start recruiting Shaq."
Perry was impressed with USM at Jr Day, but the distance factor could be a problem.
"He got a chance to meet with Coach Fedora. This was maybe his second time to meet Fedora one on one. Shaq really likes Coach Fedora. He knew some of the other kids that were there today. It felt like home for him, but I do not think he liked the 4 1/2 hour drive. That is probably the only negative for USM.."
Yancy Porter is the Recruiting Manager for the State of Mississippi and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org