In some respects, Perry may suffer from small school syndrome, playing at a Class-A high school in central Georgia where he conquered his domain by leading Hawkinsville to consecutive state championships. Perry had 94 tackles and 12 sacks as a junior and was on pace to break those totals as a senior.
While there may be questions about the quality of Perry's competition, there's certainly nothing suspect about the schools interested in signing him to a football scholarship. He has offers from USC, Miami, Nebraska, Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan and Oklahoma State, all of which he rejected in favor of Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Auburn and Tennessee.
A lifelong fan of the home-state Bulldogs, Perry has long been considered a lock for Georgia. He also has a cousin, defensive end Charles Johnson, who signed with the Dawgs in 2004. However, in a recent interview with Scout.com's Ryan Jordan at the GACA North/South All-Star game the big D-lineman gave a surprise response when asked about his favorite.
"I'm leaning pretty hard to Tennessee," he said. I could commit there really soon, maybe without even taking my official visit."
Perry did take an unofficial visit to Knoxville for the Notre Dame game and that's when the Vols began their sharp rise among contenders. Opportunity is the key factor in UT's favor.
"I've looked at it and I know they (Bulldogs) have too many defensive linemen," he said. "They also told me they were filling up in this class already. Charles wants me to come up there but he knows I have to do what's best for me even if that means playing for Tennessee."
Perry, who has run a 4.95 time in the 40, has been compared to former Georgia gridiron standout Jonathan Sullivan for his ability to penetrate an offensive line and collapse a pocket. His defensive accomplishments the last two years have come against a constant array of double- and triple-team blocking schemes. So large is Perry's physical stature, persona and performance that he was voted Red Devils team captain as a freshmen — an honor he held all four years.
A solid student, Perry has a 3.7 GPA and a score of 21 on his ACT. When asked what he sought in a college?, Perry said: "I'm looking to get a good education and I want to play for a great football program."
Tennessee is a great place to visit, but it sounds like Perry would rather live there.
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The Vols appear to have also passed the Bulldogs for another in-state product considered a top ten prospect nationally at his position.
Scout.com's Scott Kennedy reports offensive tackle Chris Scott, 6-4, 315, of Lovejoy, Ga., is essentially down to Tennessee and LSU.
"I'm down to LSU and Tennessee," said Scott. "I'm still looking at Georgia and Florida, so they're not out of it, but it's pretty much LSU and Tennessee right now."
Scott comes from the same high school that produced Anthony Parker, an offensive lineman at UT who redshirted as a freshman. The four-star prospect is rated No. 10 among defensive tackles in the Class of 2005. He is rated the top offensive lineman in Georgia.