4-star 'backer looking at Vols

A four-star linebacker prospect who lives a stone's throw from the University of Miami campus says those who think he's a lock for the Hurricanes should think again.

"I'm not a lock at all," said Denzel Perryman, a 6-0, 220-pounder who will be a senior at Coral Gables High School this fall. "I'm still open-minded. Most people say that because I'm from Coral Gables, and it (Miami campus) is right down the street. But I'm pretty open-minded."

No wonder. He told InsideTennessee.com that he has "thirty-some" scholarship offers, including one from Tennessee. He hopes to visit Knoxville for the Vols' July 20-22 high school camp.

"Yes, if I can get up there," he said.

He may bring a friend, too. Coral Gables teammate Mike Rowland, a 6-3, 295-pound offensive tackle, is also getting considerable interest from the Big Orange. Rowland may accompany Perryman if he makes it to Knoxville later this month.

"It's most likely that he will," Perryman said. "Tennessee hasn't offered him yet but I think one will be coming through for him."

Perryman is being recruited by Vol defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. The two seem to be clicking.

"He's a cool guy. I can deal with that coach," the prospect said. "He came to the school, and I spoke to him."

Perryman was voted first-team all-state and EA Sports Sophomore All-American after recording 105 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 interceptions in 2008. He slipped to second-team all-state as a junior in 2009, despite recording 126 tackles and 8 sacks.

"I don't know what happened," he said.

Whatever happened, it didn't hurt his reputation. Scout.com rates him the No. 15 middle linebacker prospect in America. His high school coach, Joe Montoya, calls him "a punisher on the field."

Perryman is considering offers from such college football notables as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, West Virginia, Florida State, Oregon and Miami.

Blessed with 4.6 speed and a 315-pound bench press, the talented young man says his approach to football is pretty simple.

"I just find the ball," he said, "and go to the ball."

The thing he likes best about playing middle linebacker, he added, is "Being able to hit everybody."

Given how many scholarship offers he has to sort through, it's understandable that Perryman says he is unlikely to commit publicly anytime soon.

"I think that's something that could run right up to the finish (National Signing Day)," he said.

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