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Class of 2018 Intro: Ronnie Perkins

University City (Mo.) sophomore defensive end Ronnie Perkins is working to become a Division I player like his older brother.

When his older brother was going through the recruiting process, Ronnie Perkins was paying close attention. 

Now a promising sophomore defensive end at University City (Mo.) High School, the younger Perkins is also developing into a Division I prospect.

“I learned a lot,” Perkins said of watching his older brother, Ronnell, go through the process. “Like every time somebody would come over I would sit in and listen, just take notes in my head.”

Ronnell Perkins signed with the University of Missouri and will be a redshirt freshman safety next season. The younger Perkins is just 16 years old, but he’s already grown to be bigger than his brother at 6-feet-3 and 230 pounds. 

How’d that happen? 

“I don’t know,” Perkins said. “My dad’s kind of a big guy. My brother didn’t get his size. But I’m taller than my dad.”

It is that size and strength that makes the younger Perkins an intriguing prospect to watch in the Class of 2018. He’s already drawn some interest from Mizzou, Purdue and Iowa, but has yet to receive his first scholarship offer. 

Perkins was credited with 85 tackles and a team-high nine sacks. On offense, as a tight end, he recorded 18 catches for 248 yards and seven touchdowns as University City went 7-6. 

The defensive end prospect said his strengths are his size and strength. 

“I’m very strong,” Perkins said. “I’m strong enough to push the (offensive) tackle off me. And I have a little speed to chase the quarterback down. I also think I have a high football I.Q.” 

The sophomore said studying opponents’ game film has allowed him to pick up tendencies on which plays are coming out of certain formations. 

As for his strength, Perkins said he can bench press 265 pounds four or five times. At the Elite Football Academy Combine in late January, Perkins bench-pressed 185 pounds 14 times, recorded a vertical leap of 30.5 inches and a broad jump of 8 feet, 2 inches.

Perkins said he is working hard to get faster and stronger.

“I want to continue to develop my speed,” he said. “I’ve got it for the high school level, but for the college level I know I can get better at it. I also want to continue to grow and develop my strength.”

As he works on those things, he’ll continue to get more recruiting attention from schools. He’ll also have more opportunities to prove himself at camps this summer going into his junior season.

“I plan to make the Mizzou camp this season and plan to attend the Iowa camp,” Perkins said.

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at

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