Coach Speak: Tyrone Perkins

Syracuse landed their first commitment in the 2015 class on Wednesday in running back Tyrone Perkins. caught up with his head coach to break down what the Orange are getting in the Friends Academy standout.

Ron Baskind has been coaching at Friends Academy in Locust Valley (N.Y.) for over 27 years. During that time, he has seen some of his players make the division one level, NFL and Canadian Football League.

Even with that history, one of the most talented prospects he has had is recent running back Tyrone Perkins who recently committed to Syracuse.

"Tyrone has as good instincts and natural ability as any kid we've had," Baskind said. "We're a small private school that plays in a public school league, which makes us a bit unique. So he's played against a large variety of talent and he performs consistently against all of them. As a runner, he's got great vision and has a great feel for how to cut.

"He has a great ability to come back away from the sidelines and cut against the grains on people. He just has all that ability. I've seen him go up against kids in all sports that are of different talent levels, and it's always the same. He's just very good at what he does and he's very consistent."

Baskind believes physically, Perkins has all the tools to be a strong player for the Orange. In addition to getting work done in the strength and conditioning program at the next level, he also to work on the mental aspect of the game.

"I think the first thing that strikes me is mentally," Baskind said. "If we run a blast play and he doesn't break it, he's a very tough critic on himself. If he doesn't get 10 or more yards, he's thinking ‘what did I do wrong.' You won't want to get in his way on the next one, but he's going to have to level off a little bit.

"I think mentally, he's going to have to balance a little bit what he can do at that level."

There is more to Perkins game than just his natural ability as a runner. He has versatility and athleticism, which should fit in very well within the Orange's system.

"Once Syracuse started expressing interest, I was waiting for the next one to drop that they want to see him at defensive back or receiver," Baskind said. "Just because he has incredible hands. It doesn't really show a lot on film, but the bottom line is he has tremendous ability to catch the ball.

"So when we saw their offense and what they try to do with a back, it seemed like such a perfect fit for Tyrone."

Off the field, Perkins has a reputation as a leader and someone who gives back to others.

"He's a funny kid," Baskind said. "He has a great sense of humor. It's interesting because we're a Quaker school. So you can't be at this school without being of the mindset that how do you inspire and enrich the lives of others around him. It's not unusual at our school to have the yearbook dedication go to one of our support staff, one of the unsung heroes.

"So the third person they (Syracuse) had us meet on the visit was introducing him to two women that run the food service for the athletes. That was a real touching moment for us. One of them gave him a big hug. That has meaning to Tyrone. He's of that spirit where everyone's equal and everyone's important and service is important. All of that stood out and when we got in the car after that, it was the first thing he talked about."

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