The Next Ronnie Lott?

Forty scholarship offers and counting at the beginning of May. The number is staggering, but that is the current total for Woodrow Wilson high school (Camden, N.J.) safety prospect Antwine Perez. Are the Irish among the schools that have offered?

"They told me they were going to offer me in March, but I haven't seen the piece of paper, so I can't count on that. I do expect them to offer sometime soon though." said Antwine Perez

Have the Notre Dame coaches been actively recruiting Antwine?

"Yeah, they've been sending me stuff for about two or three months" he responded. "I've talked to coach Latina in the past and he said that they like me a lot."

"He visited my school last week," he added.

What is his impression of the new offensive line coach for Notre Dame?

"He's (coach Latina) a good guy. He seems like a fun guy -- down to earth.

What is it that interests him about Notre Dame?

"The history of the program," Perez replied. "It's one of the premiere programs in the country. The tradition and academics – everyone would want to play for ND."

What other schools have visited Perez?

"Pete Carroll was at school today. They offered me a while ago. It's definitely a big deal form them to come all the way across the country to recruit me."

Would the distance be an issue for you with a school like USC?

"It really doesn't have an affect on me, so it won't be a problem," Perez said. "I'm a really independent guy, so I'd like to get away. Whether it's the South, Midwest, or West it doesn't matter – whatever suites me. I think it's a great opportunity to see other things and meet different people.

Most recruits don't expect the type of attention that Antwine has received, so I asked him what offers intrigued him the most when he received them.

"South Carolina – You almost forget about them, but they have a great program," he replied.

"Nebraska – That just wasn't a school I thought I would get a chance to play for.

"USC – That was a strange offer as well. It was just a surprise that they came over so early in recruiting and offered. They have two top Jersey guys also.

"I don't have a top five or top ten," he said. "But I will have a top eight by next week, and by July I want to have my top five"

If Antwine compared his style of play to someone, what player would his style most resembles?

"Ronnie Lott," he responded. "A lot of people tell me that I play like him."

Antwine said that his intention is to graduate early so that he can enroll in the spring. He reports a 3.3 g.p.a. and a 940 SAT. He will also take the ACT.

Comments: Perez may end up on the east coast, but it's nice to see that he understands the value of exploring all his options. He really is a likeable guy and will be a asset to any program. Although he doesn't have an offer from Notre Dame, I wouldn't be surprised if Antwine received one shortly. The Irish will have a shot to make his first cut, but I sense that they are probably a little behind other schools at this time.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories