"We've had a lot of fun," said Perez. "I've been over here going to different schools and seeing different places. We started in Detroit and went to Michigan and Michigan State... I camped at Michigan State. The next day we went down to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I participated in a camp at Ohio State.
"After that we went over to Penn State and took a tour of the campus. We went to Maryland, and I threw for them too. That went well... I liked it. I talked with coach Franklin some before we left."
What did Perez think of those trips?
"They all talked with me about things they liked and really talked to my quarterbacks coach. I'm just having fun and going out there competing."
Perez was scheduled to be at Virginia and Virginia Tech on Wednesday and is camping at Tennessee today. Friday he'll head over to North Carolina where he will visit UNC, Duke, and Wake Forest before camping at NC State on Saturday.
"I know I'll be going to a camp at North Carolina on Friday and then NC State on Saturday," said Perez. "I think we're just visiting Duke and Wake Forest."
Perez's quarterbacks coach, George Whitfield Jr., has been working with prep quarterbacks for a few years now. He played professional football before spending the summer of 2007 as an intern under Cam Cameron, offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, where Whitfield worked with all of the quarterbacks, including NC State legend Philip Rivers.
In 2004, he established Whitfield Athletix, a specialized quarterback training firm based out of San Diego. Whitfield works mostly with high school students based primarily in the Southern California region training them in the ways of the quarterback position helping them to enhance and developed their skills from the very basic levels to the complex levels often using training methods used by NFL quarterbacks.
Thus far he has trained quarterbacks from 20 different states. Former collegiate standout and Cincinnati Bengals first round draft pick Akili Smith looked to Whitfield to help revitalize his slumping career. Since 2004 over 30 of his quarterbacks have gone on to make a collegiate team at some level from Division I all the way down to community colleges, and Whitfield is currently the youngest quarterbacks coach in the nation.
This year Whitfield is working with Perez, Peter Thomas, and several other potential high-major quarterbacks. Perez speaks highly of his quarterbacks coach.
"He's my coach and a really good friend," he stated. "I practice with him every Saturday, and he handles my recruitment for me. He's the one who made my highlight tape, and he knows a lot of coaches... he has a lot of connections.
"I've learned a lot from him. My footwork is the biggest thing I've improved on. He's improved that along with my release, my arm strength, and my technique. He has also helped me out with reading defenses... coach Whitfield has helped me with everything."
This is truly a unique road trip because Perez isn't the only quarterback that Whitfield has on the "tour." Nine other quarterbacks, including six rising juniors and sophomores, are attending the camps and working out for the coaches.
"We have a group of 10 quarterbacks out here," said Perez. "Four of us are seniors and the rest are underclassmen, and we're throwing for all the schools and learning a lot. We all work with coach Whitfield and he scheduled all of this for us so we can get some exposure."
2008 was Perez's first season as a starter, and he threw for 2,010 yards on 132-of-201 passing. He tossed 14 touchdown passes with just six interceptions and was named First Team All-Mesa League.
Checking in at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Perez has ideal size for the quarterback position and is the prototypical pro-style passer. He admits that one advantage he has over some other quarterbacks is his experience playing under center.
"I think that's a plus for me," he said. "I've been under center since my freshman year so I'm comfortable with drops and play-action. Shotgun is easier and we're going to do some of that this year, but as far as being prepared for college, I think my high school's offense will help me be ready to play in a pro-style offense.
"We run the ball a lot at my school so I didn't put up really big numbers, but I still broke the school record for passing yards in a season."
Although he has yet to earn a scholarship offer, Perez is hearing from programs such as San Diego State, UTEP, Utah, Penn State, Michigan State, and NC State.
"I think they all are close to offering," said Perez. "With San Diego State, Utah, and UTEP, I think they just want to see me throw.
"My biggest strength is my arm. College coaches like my arm strength, and they like my size."
Three programs hold the early lead for Perez.
"Penn State, Michigan State, and NC State stick out," said Perez. "Those are my top three. I had a good camp at Michigan State and liked it there. I've talked to Penn State on the phone, and they told my coach that I was one of their top prospects on the west coast.
"NC State's been sending a lot of letters, and they've been talking with my quarterbacks coach a lot. They've seen my film and really like me and that's why I'm going to their camp. They said they want to look at me some more in camp before offering."
Perez appears to be in no hurry to make a decision but will be looking for certain factors when the time comes to pick a school.
"I plan on waiting a while," he said. "I want to be sure about my decision because if another school offered later that I really like I don't want to have to back out so I'm going to wait until I'm ready.
"I'm going to be looking into the education and the atmosphere at the university. I'm also looking for an offense that fits me and a strong coaching staff."
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