To the Tape: Tyrone Perkins

Syracuse surprised many in receiving the verbal commitment of in-state running back Tyrone Perkins this week. But what is the Orange getting in the junior? CuseNation.com takes a closer look inside.

Vitals: 6-foot, 190 lbs

Position: Running Back

Class: 2015

Hometown: Locust Valley, N.Y.

School: Friends Academy

Scout.com Ranking: Currently Unranked

Recruiting: Picked up an offer from Syracuse and committed a few weeks later (4/16)

Syracuse landed its initial commitment within the class of 2015, as Tyrone Perkins pulled the trigger seemingly out of nowhere on Wednesday evening. The Orange staff thinks it may have found a gem with the in-state running back, who wasn't on many radars before verballing to SU.

CuseNation.com takes its own look at the limited film available on the 2015 commitment to see where he now stands and where he could end up down the road once he dons orange and blue.

Strengths

The first thing very noticeable on tape with Perkins is his decision-making. This means that he makes his initial cut like he means it and rarely hesitates in doing so. Most of the hesitation seen on tape is in order to set up a second cut, a good secondary move for any tailback talent to have. His decisive and forward running style make him more in the "one-cut runner" mold, though he has some tools to expand on it over the next year or so.

Perkins has solid hands out of the backfield and also fields kickoffs and punts for Friends Academy, so his hands are already on pace to be among the best at his position once he arrives in Central New York. Whether it's as a returner, runner and in the open field or in traffic, one of the strongest qualities the junior shows is his calm demeanor. He's patient with the process and doesn't force moves like other young backs, meaning he only uses what's needed to get by. The efficient nature enabled him to average about a first-down per carry this past fall.

Going together with Perkins' package as a versatile runner, effective in the open field and in-between the tackles fairly effectively, is his balance. The efficient nature we talked about pairs well with good core control, balance and the ability to run north-south in keeping his shoulders square. There's not a lot of dancing or wiggle, though he has good quickness, and he can take some hits in the process. Perkins is also fast enough in the open field to take it the distance, not necessarily with a third-gear to wow spectators, but with a good enough second-burst to separate from most opponents.

Still Needs Work

After noticing his decisive nature, it's not hard to notice that Perkins isn't running against Scout 300 prospects every weekend on Long Island. While the level of competition isn't his fault, it does stunt the perception of his projected talent like speed and power. While the speed should still carry over to a point, the ease he is able to break tackles with on this level may not. Not a scat back or power back, but something in between, Perkins is able to use simple stiff arms and solid athleticism to run through tackles at the second and third level of the defense.

To this point, at least from what film is available, he doesn't get by defenders with much power and grit. He's not a leg-churner or a long-strider, but he runs like one. At 190 pounds, there should be a bit more explosion in his game as he rounds into form at the varsity prep level.

When Perkins does get to the open field, seemingly often, his center of gravity relaxes and he runs higher than his listed 6-foot frame even suggests, possibly preventing him from that elusive third gear that translates to the major college level more times than not. The good news? Most of his apparent areas of concern are all tangible, and things that can be worked on going forward.

Projection

With the level of competition already gone over, intriguing strengths presented, the toughest part of the eval on Perkins at this point is his projection. Right now, he's a 6-foot, 190-pound balanced back. Can he maintain his weight and focus on explosion to be a versatile pass-catcher and edge threat at the next level? Seems possible. Could he add 15 pounds and focus on building his body to become more of a power-back with the occasional burst after he wears down a front-seven like Jerome Smith proved he could be? Sure.

The question is which one of the two avenues suits not only him the best, but Syracuse the best. The former, in my opinion, would be for Perkins to focus on strategy No. 2, bulking up and preparing to be an inside the tackle type. For the Orange, however, it could be the initial theory of focusing on using his skill-set in order to be advertised as a guy who can help the offense and special teams in more than one way. It will be intriguing to keep up with over the next year or so until he begins classes at Syracuse, so let the debate begin.


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