“I just want to get out there — special teams, defense, anything — whatever thing I can do to help the team,” Perkins said. “Special teams. Defense. Block a kick. Get a pick. Something. I just want to help the team out, make plays, be a playmaker for the team.”
Perkins, who will be a redshirt freshman this fall, is one of the Tigers’ young safeties that has impressed this spring.
Perkins and Cameron Hilton, who will be a sophomore this fall after seeing playing time at safety and wide receiver in 2015, are two players to watch in the secondary as reserves behind Anthony Sherrils and Thomas Wilson.
“They’ve been doing a good job,” said Ryan Walters, Missouri’s co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach. “They’re running with the 2s right now and anytime they are in there there’s no drop-off. Cam has made a bunch of plays when he’s been in there. He’s had some knick-knack injuries here and there, but when he’s in there he makes play. Ronnell is a physical kid back there who plays hard and is a spark for us on defense.”
Listed at 6-feet and 185 pounds, Perkins said he gained 15 pounds since he arrived on campus last summer. With the added weight and strength, the young safety said he plays downhill more now than he used to.
While helping him to get bigger and stronger, the redshirt season also allowed Perkins the opportunity to better learn the game.
“You get mental reps,” he said. “You get to watch people, older guys, play and see what they do and follow their lead. You just learn, basically. Use your freshman year to learn and get mental reps, basically. That’s what I did a lot, get mental reps.”
Those mental reps have helped the game slow down for him. That has helped him make more of an impact during spring practices and helped him improve.
“I improved a lot on covering and just making plays,” Perkins said. “I learned the system and it was easier for me to make plays this spring than it was in fall camp. I think the game slowed down for me more, I got used to it, so yeah I improved a lot.”
Watch: Interview with Ryan Walters | RB Ish Witter ready for bigger role | Glen Elarbee meets the media | Watch: Andy Hill meets the media | Missouri football spring practice photo gallery April 8 | Watch: Barry Odom meets the media | OLB Terez Hall impressing during spring | Watch: DeMontie Cross meets the media | Missouri football notebook: injury updates | Missouri football spring practice photo gallery April 5 | Missouri's Culkin talks role, 2016 goals | Finley impressed with Mizzou's TE group | Sherrils steps into bigger role for Mizzou | Missouri football notebook: Two players quit | Missouri football spring practice photo gallery March 22 | Aarion Penton back to lead Mizzou's secondary | Alec Abeln anchors new-look Missouri offensive line
2016 MIZZOU SPRING FOOTBALL PREVIEWS