Perry Dominating On, Off Field

Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry, a likely captain next season, is an effective worker both on and off the field

Before junior linebacker Joshua Perry began amassing a team-high 124 tackles this season, the Galena, Ohio, native was already racking up job offers.

Perry’s professionalism was seen in a line that OSU head coach Urban Meyer casually dropped during an early January press conference, when the third-year head coach said that he’d hire Perry in a heartbeat because of the way he represents Ohio State. Later that day, Perry’s name was brought up to OSU director of athletics Gene Smith.

“What time is it?” he asked before a quick glance at his watch. “4:14? I’d hire him at 4:15. He’s a stud.”

Meyer and Smith will have to fight off both the NFL and other businesses to lock up Perry. Meyer said the linebacker has turned the program’s Real Life Wednesdays into his own personal job fair, and Perry said an internship this summer yielded a standing full-time job offer with a commercial real estate company once he’s done playing.

“That’s something I’ve wanted to do,” he said. “This is going to sound crazy, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do besides football since I was in fourth or fifth grade.”

Wait, really?

“People say, ‘I want to be a lawyer, I want to be a doctor or firefighter,’” Perry said. “I said, ‘I want to be competitive and go out there and eat what I kill,’ and commercial real estate is a great place to be able to do that.”

Until then, he’ll have to settle for battling his enemies on the football field. Meyer noted that Perry will be a captain next season, calling him one of his favorite guys and someone who does everything right.

Perry said he wouldn’t be at that level without the leadership of the three defensive captains in 2014 – Michael Bennett, Curtis Grant and Doran Grant – and noted that it meant a lot to hear himself compared to those guys.

“He’ll tell you like it is and he’s not going to sugarcoat anything or just say things just to say them,” Perry said. “It’s a lot of motivation, obviously, because it gives me a lot to work for knowing I’m on a positive track right now and knowing where I could be. It just kind of shows the work that I’ve put in and how it’s paying off a little bit.

“I came a long way from freshman year, when I was a guy here who was very confused and didn’t know much I’d play and didn’t know if I liked it here that much to being in the situation that I’m in right now and enjoying my time here and reaping the benefits of what Ohio State has to offer. It’s been a pleasure to be here and I’m glad that my work is paying off. But like I said, a lot of work still to be done.”

Perry downplayed the importance of finishing as the team’s leading tackler, a feat that will etch him a place in the media guide forever next to names like Chris Spielman and A.J. Hawk. Tyvis Powell, the safety that often plays behind Perry, figures it’s a good bet that Perry repeats that feat again in 2015.

“Josh is, I don't know, he just always seems to be in the right place at the right time,” Powell said. “Having him in front of me is a great feeling because I don't really have to worry too much… he definitely is getting it done somehow some way.”

On or off the field.

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