Last season, Jared Perry recorded 41 receptions, 567 yards, and 4 touchdowns as the third wide receiver for the Tigers. With both Jeremy Maclin and Tommy Saunders moving on to the next level, The door is wide open for Perry to become the leader of this team.
Up until Tuesday, Jared Perry had been sidelined with a shoulder injury that had plagued him for the majority of last season. After offseason surgery and plenty of rehab, Jared took the field Tuesday with his teammates for the first time since the Alamo Bowl.
After practice, InsideMizzou.com caught up with Perry, and he was excited to be back. "It feels pretty good," Perry said about putting the pads back on. "I thought I was going to be a little bit sluggish but I came out pretty good, caught the ball really well, and ran really well after the ball."
Perry wore a red shirt on Tuesday which allows him to participate in all of the non contact drills, but holds him out of the 11-on-11 full contact scrimage towards the end of practice.
Even though Jared has missed the first two weeks of spring ball, he does not feel left behind at all. "If anything (will hurt me), it is being able to get my connection with my new quarterback," Perry said.
The fact that he has played in this system for some time now really helps him catch up quickly though. "I know the system and I know the offense like the back of my hand and I think thats going to play a big role in getting me back."
This years wide receiving corp is very young, especially with both seniors Perry and Danario Alexander not participating in the spring due to offseason surgeries. Now that Perry is back, he brings his sense of leadership and experience to this group of kids.
Jared has already stepped up as a leader on tuesday by helping out the young guys. "I have kind of taken (redshirt freshman Rolandis Woodland) under my wing," Perry commented about taking on the role of a leader. "I have been treating him like my little brother."
It is obvious that the team is extremely excited to have Perry back this soon. Jared was the offensive player who led stretches today, showing the amount of respect that both the coaches and his teammates have for him. Also, just as practice was ending, the entire team huddled up in the center of the field when and unspecified player yelled "Jared Perry is Back!" and the team gave up a big cheer in his honor.