At what point during your prep career did you realize you might have a chance to play college football?
It's always been a dream of mine, but once I got into high school, that's when I really made it a goal, and it's nice knowing all the hard work is paying off.
How excited are your parents about your opportunity at IU? They're thrilled. They couldn't be happier. I get a free education, so they're very excited.
You helped lead Morris (Ill.) H.S. to the state championship in the fall. How does signing your National Letter of Intent compare to that?
It's going to be right up there with it. Probably just as good, if not better. That was a great day, but this is pretty exciting, too.
What did it mean to you to finish your high school career with a state championship?
It meant a lot for myself and all my teammates. We were there as juniors and we got second, so it was our goal to get back down there and take first finally. It was very rewarding.
How hard was it on you to get so close a year ago but to win the championship?
It was real tough. We had a lot of hype, too. We were said to be one of the best teams in school history, and we felt like we were a little bit of a disappointment because we didn't win it. It was tough, especially having to watch all the seniors go out with a loss like that.
We wanted to make sure our senior year didn't end like that.
Does the disappointment of last season make this year's accomplishments more rewarding?
Absolutely. I think that's what made it that much better. Just standing there tasting defeat and then to get a second chance, and to make it good was special.
When you think back to the state championship game, what sticks out in your mind?
I'd say just us being able to take a knee on the final play was the best play for me. It was such a relief to be able to do that, and then it hits you that you won the state championship.
Can you talk about how big high school football is in the community of Morris?
We're a football town through and through. It's always been that way, and growing up I have always been a part of it and always watched it and had family go through it. The town has been great and supports it very much.
My cousin Derek went through it and he went on to play at Missouri on a football scholarship for them. My brother (Brian) played, my brother in law (Chris) played, my dad (Mark) played back in the day. So I've had a lot of family members go through it. They were all there for the state championship game.
What sort of success did they have when they played at Morris?
Back when my dad was here they weren't very good, so it wasn't a real power then. But a year or two after he left, we started being a power. My cousin made it to the semifinals, one game away from state. My brother made it to the quarterfinals.
Were they every bit as excited about the championship as you were?
Absolutely. Not so much the state game, but the quarterfinal game where we beat Joliet Catholic, who was (ranked) fourth in the nation. They are always the team that gets in our way and we can't get by them. But this year we got by them. After that, we just had to survive the last two weeks because it was tough getting ready to go.
Going into the Joliet Catholic match-up, did you have a feeling that this was your year to get them?
Absolutely. We finally got them at home, and we'd never played them at home, and no Morris team had lost on that field in five years, so we knew we had a real good chance of getting them. After losing to them in state last year, we didn't want to lose to them again.
When you look ahead to IU, you're obviously coming in with a big group of offensive linemen.
That's where the team starts. If you have a good line the offense is going to do pretty well. It's a great place to start the team off. Get that strong, and everything else will fall into place.
Do you know which offensive line position the team likes you at?
We haven't really talked about that. I think it would be guard or tackle, but probably at tackle because of my height.
How big are you right now, and how big do you envision getting once you get to IU?
I'm 6-6, 250 right now. But once I get into college, I'll get up to 300, low 300s, somewhere around there.
How anxious are you to get your college career underway?
I'm pretty excited, a little nervous, too, get it going. I'm really looking forward to it, and I have a big challenge ahead of me. I'll be going away from home, having to do stuff, not being able to come home, transitioning from high school to college.
What number did you wear in high school? 75
Any nicknames? Not really.
Who was your recruiting Coach? Bill Lynch.
What other sports did you play in high school? Up until this year I played basketball and track.
Alex Perry Q&A
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