Perez has been sought after by just about every school in the country but he has narrowed his list to three and LSU fans will like what he has to say.
"I've got it down to LSU, USC and Michigan," Perez told Tiger Rag. "Those three are recruiting me the hardest and all of them have top programs. They are always in the hunt for championships and all have great coaching staffs."
LSU defensive backs coach Doug Mallory targeted Perez during the spring and has been hot on his trail ever since the two met for the first time in May.
"I got an offer from LSU in April and then a week later coach Mallory came up to meet me," Perez said. "He said he made a special trip to New Jersey to meet me. I was surprised because I never heard of LSU recruiting anyone up here."
Perez said he talks to Mallory frequently and the two last spoke a week and half ago. Throughout the recruiting process the two have formed a strong bond, not only in recruiting, but also on a personal basis.
"We have a pretty good relationship," said Perez. "He is not only my recruiting coach but he would also be my position coach. We are able to relate to one another in a lot of ways other than football. He is from Illinois so we talk about him growing up in that part of the country compared to where I live. I feel like I can talk to him about anything."
One would think Mallory would have to really sell the program to Perez since LSU is buried in the Deep South a long ways from New Jersey. However, that is certainly not the case in this instance.
"I've always been a big fan of college football so I know all about LSU," said Perez. "I know all about their tradition and the atmosphere they have. I know all about all of facilities they have and how they have one of the top academic centers in the country."
Perez will experience that atmosphere first hand when he makes his official visit to LSU on Sept. 24 when the Tigers host Tennessee.
"I can't wait for that game," he said. "I can't wait to see a night game and see what the atmosphere is really like."
Some recruits analyze depth charts and worry about how many players they are going to have to battle for playing time. While that may be the norm that is something you want hear Perez talking about.
"I really don't care who they already have or who they're going to bring in," he said. "If you're good then you're going to play."
Some have said Michigan may have the edge in this battle because USC and LSU are so far from home. But Perez said distance would not play a factor at all.
"Going far away is not a problem at all," he said. "I'm going to go where I want to and my mom wants me to be able to travel some. She wasn't thrilled about me leaving at first but now she is excited for me."
Whichever school does come out on top will get an added bonus with the five-star safety because he will be a mid-term grad and plans on taking part in his new team's bowl preparations.
Does one of his three finalists have the least bit of an edge at this point?
"They're all pretty even," he said. "I'm just looking at them all and trying to make the best decision. After that LSU trip I'll sit back and look at everything and then make my decision."
By the numbers: (JR) stats: 55 tackles and 5 INTs/1,700 yards passing with 14 TDs and 8 INTs/400 yards rushing and 10 TDs/305-BP/215-SQ.
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