CoachSpeak: Jones Breaks Down Perkins

Notre Dame picked up its 10th commitment of the 2012 class Tuesday when Washington High (South Bend, Ind.) four-star outside linebacker David Perkins announced he committed to Notre Dame. IrishEyes.com spoke to Perkins' coach, Antown Jones, for an in-depth look at what he thinks the Irish are getting.

The latest member of Notre Dame's 2012 recruiting class said he was recruited as an athlete who can play running back, outside linebacker or safety, but there is little question where his coach thinks he fits best.

Washington High (South Bend, Ind.) coach and former Notre Dame player Antwon Jones said 6-foot-2, 220-pound David Perkins is best suited to play outside linebacker in the Irish's 3-4 alignment.

"He might be a running back, but I would say (his best position) would be a rush-backer," Jones said. "He's a natural pass-rusher, in my opinion, and he can bend the edge. With that type of speed, and the size that he does have, that's a dangerous combination.

"I think he'll fit great into Notre Dame's defense. He'll play exactly how he did with us. He'll line up over a tight end, they'll bring him off the edge like he does for us."

Perkins' versatility should also be an asset.

He was also used as a defensive end in certain schemes in Washington High's defense, and that is an option with Notre Dame.

"He has the ability to put his hand down on the ground and play from there," Jones said. "It depends how much bigger he gets and how they want to use him, but I can see him doing that."

Perkins also fits the mold of a football fanatic whose time is spent honing his craft. If he isn't working out, practicing or playing football, he is usually doing something else associated with his craft.

"He's a great kid," Jones said. "He's a football junkie. He's one of those kids that if he can't play a football game on PlayStation or something, he's watching football on ESPN. He's a football addict, let's put it that way."

His hard work wasn't limited to football for the last year or so.

One of the reasons Notre Dame was late in offering Perkins centered on his academic commitment. After a miss-step or two early in his high school academic career, he changed his approach and focused much harder in the classroom.

"He's been busting his butt, taking care of that, which is one of the reasons Notre Dame came in and offered him," Jones said. "They saw the changes that he needed."

The four-star Perkins, who grew up in Michigan, rated 27th in the nation at outside linebacker by Scout.com after making 63 tackles, including 13 sacks. He also rushed for 783 yards and had 180 receiving yards.

The immediate question is how ready Perkins is to play in college.

"It's going to be hard, even at the next level," Jones said. "Once he gets used to the pace of the game, I think in a year or two he'll be contending for a spot. I wouldn't say right off his first year because there is a difference, but after a year or two, once he's acclimated to the environment of college football and the hostility it possesses, I think he'll be just fine."


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