It came down to the Cougar players and coaches for Perry (5-9, 175) who held offers from WSU, Missouri, Cincinnati and others.
"Wazzu was the best fit for me (and) to set me up for the next 50 years rather than just the next five years," said Perry. "The community and the school was the tipping point for me ... With some other schools I really liked the football program but the actual school itself didn't seem to be the right fit for me. Out of all the trips I made to Pullman, I felt the team and the coaches were a family-oriented group ... and I felt the academic side of it was at a higher level."
Perry this past season rushed for 1,220 yards on 106 carries (11.5 ypc) with 19 rushing TDs at King's. He was used as both a running back and receiver and finished the 2016 regular season top 5 in the state in rushing according to the Seattle Times. He also took home the WIAA Class 1A 100 meters title at the state track and field championships last May. His personal best in the 100 is 10.76 according to athletic.net.
Perry said he envisions a short adjustment period at WSU, saying King's offense is very similar to Leach's Air Raid. WSU special teams coach Eric Mele ran the recruiting point, and Mele and Wazzu running backs coach Jim Mastro joined Mele for an in-home visit with Perry and his family last month before the contact period ended.
WSU now has six known in-state commitments, with five coming from the western side of the state, a Mele territory.
"Coach Mele an incredible recruiter," said Perry. "He texted me, and he was checking up on me all the time and he kind of became that 'cool uncle.' Coach Mele, he's definitely somebody you can look up to on and off the field. He's somebody who sees talent and he's willing to pursue it ... I feel we've built a really good relationship that's going to continue as I step on campus.
"It's an offense I'm very familiar with. Coming in as a freshman it won't be personally that big of a struggle for me to understand our offensive scheme. They way Coach Mastro uses his running backs is something that I'm used to. And not only that, he uses them effectively."
King’s is a 1A school and Power 5 football recruiters with concerns about the competition level don’t always come knocking. But Perry said Mele told him the Cougar coaches love his speed plus his RB skills and attributes showed up on tape. Still, will Perry use the fact no other Pac-12 school offered him as motivation?
"It's not the main thing," said Perry. "But at the same time I'm very hungry to put my game out there ... During the recruiting process as I was contacting a lot coaches they were telling me I was too small (or) sometimes, even that I wasn't fast enough ... so I'm hungry to get out there, most of all soak it all in and have fun.
"I sometimes do have a chip on my shoulder (but) once I step out on that field, there's no more talking. It's time to perform."
Perry becomes the 22nd known verbal commitment in Leach's 2017 class: CLICK HERE. (Note: CB Isaiah Love is not listed per Scout.com policy because Love is listed on the 2016 commit list).
- Perry was co-offensive MVP of the Cascade conference, and a first team all-conference linebacker to boot.
- Cole Dubots is also listed as a 3-star RB by Scout.com but Dubots will be lining up on the other side of the ball for WSU as a nickel/linebacker-type.
- Perry will take his official visit to WSU next weekend when the contact period opens back up. He had originally planned to make his commitment later in January but it became clear over the holidays, there was no longer any need to wait. "Over Christmas break with all the time that I had, my family and I had conversations about ... all the possibilities (but) I was pretty sure where I wanted to go," said Perry.