On Monday, the three-star safety from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., announced his commitment to Brian Kelly’s program after attending the Irish Invasion on June 19.
When the 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect arrived for that first look at Notre Dame, he did so as a Florida commitment. That Gators pledge didn’t last much beyond Notre Dame’s top summer recruiting event. Perry had high expectations for that Midwest visit and was not disappointed.
“(Notre Dame) is a special place,” Perry told Irish Illustrated following the visit. "I have a general understanding of what's going on. I know how important education is."
Perry said Notre Dame’s campus and its degree prestige stood out when comparing the Irish to other programs, including the Gators. He also held offers from Auburn, Arizona, Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon and Vanderbilt.
Perry plans to major in English and ultimately attend law school.
Perry first committed to the Gators in March. Notre Dame offered less than two weeks later as it searched for safety help during the spring evaluation period.
Notre Dame defensive backs coach Todd Lyght made spring contact with Perry, who is now IMG teammates with Notre Dame running back commitment Tony Jones Jr. Perry’s interest in Notre Dame increased from that point forward.
“(Lyght) pretty much told me his whole resume,” Perry said. “He was a first-round draft pick playing at Notre Dame. I even watched his highlights. He was a very good player and he’s actually gone and been to where I want to go. I can relate to him in that way. It’s always better to be coached by somebody that’s actually played the game.
“Coach Lyght had a huge influence on me making the (Notre Dame) visit.”
Long and rangy, Perry can cover a lot of ground in the secondary. He’s a hard-hitter and possesses the frame to add weight, augmenting his skillset as a box safety in match-up situations. Fluidity and hip movement stood out when scouting him live at the Irish Invasion.
Notre Dame will lose at least three safeties (Matthias Farley, Avery Sebastian and Elijah Shumate) after next season. If Max Redfield makes the NFL Draft jump, it could leave Drue Tranquill – coming off an ACL repair last season – as the lone upperclassman at the position.
The Irish also secured a commitment from three-star safety Jalen Elliott during the Irish Invasion. With two safety commitments on board, Notre Dame could still take two more to augment the Elliott-Perry combination.
A three-star prospect, Perry is the No. 5 ranked safety in Florida, No. 13 ranked safety in the South, and No. 40 ranked safety overall in the Class of 2016. He is originally from Auburn Ala., and transferred into IMG after his junior season.