USC always has been known for developing raw athletes into polished defensive players for the NFL. Perry is expected to rival the Packers' Clay Matthews as the Trojans' next professional star. He has that outstanding burst, take-off speed, long arms and superb balance to make it virtually impossible for slow-footed offensive tackles to prevent him from wreaking havoc in the backfield.
Why some scouts have eyed him as a linebacker prospect is his ability to drop back in pass coverage, as he plays with the proper pad level, textbook knee bend and exceptional balance to not only string plays wide, but to make impact hits that can stun a running back and jar the ball loose. He caused five fumbles in his last two seasons, and 32 of his 51 quarterback pressures have come on third-down plays.
His ability to disrupt the pocket or track down ball-carriers in the backfield allowed him to deliver 21.5 quarterback sacks and 29.5 tackles for losses, in addition to his 51 hurries. What teams immediately notice when reviewing game film is Perry's fluid moves when changing direction, as he is good at slipping past blockers when shooting the inside gaps. He works hard in his quest to collapse the pocket
Perry started 22-of-37 games at Southern California – 21 at strong-side defensive end and one on the weak-side…Recorded 103 tackles (62 solos) with 21.5 quarterback sacks for minus 137 yards, 29.5 stops for losses totaling 166 yards and 51 pressures…Caused five fumbles and recovered two others, advancing one eight yards…Also deflected six passes…His 21.5 sacks tied Brandon Jenkins of Florida State and Melvin Ingram of South Carolina for 11th among active players in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks…He led the team in sacks as a freshman (eight in 2009) and again as a junior (9.5 in 2011), as he became just the eighth Trojan to lead the team in sacks more than once in a career since Southern California officially began recording those statistics in 1983. He joins such elite performers like Jack Del Rio 13.0 in 1983 and seven in 1984); Marcus Cotton (ten in both the 1985-86 seasons and twelve more in 1987); Craig Hartsuyker (eight in 1988 and nine in 1990); Willie McGinest (sixteen in 1992 and six in 1993); Sultan Abdul-Malik (seven in 1997 and eight in 1998); Ennis Davis (five in 1999 and six in 2000) and Lawrence Jack-son (ten in 2005 and 10.5 in 2007)…Since the Pac-12 Conference (formerly the Pac-10) began to officially recognize sacks in 1984, Perry is the only Trojan to outright lead the conference in sacks, accomplishing that feat in 2011…McGinest shared that title with Ron George of Stanford in 1992 and D.D. Acholonu of Washington State joined the Trojans' Kenechi Udeze in sharing that title in 2003.
Perry was an All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, as the Ted Hendricks Award (nation's top defensive end) shared first-team honors from that scouting information service with the player that captured Hendricks Award honors, Whitney Mercilus of Illinois…Perry added All-American second-team accolades from CBS Sports and was a unanimous All-Pac 12 Conference first-team choice…Named the team's Defensive Lineman of the Year, the junior became the first Trojan to be the league's outright leader in quarterback sacks in a season since those statistics were officially recognized in 1984 (two others shared that title with other opponents in the past), as Perry collected 9.5 quarterback drops for minus 52 yards…Also led the Trojans with 13.0 stops for losses totaling 64 yards, the fourth-best total in the league…Registered 23 quarterback pressures, more than any other defensive player in the Pac-12 for 2011…Caused three fumbles and recovered another, as he deflected three passes…Helped USC finish fourth in the league in total defense (allowed 374.75 ypg), third in scoring defense (23.58 ppg) and second in stopping the run (placed 18th nationally, yielding just 111.42 yards per game).
2011 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
Perry got the season started in explosive fashion, causing a fumble on the game's second play from scrimmage, as he stripped the ball from MarQueis Gray on a rushing attempt and later sacked the quarterback on a third-down snap, posting five tackles in a 19-17 decision over Minnesota…Continuing to establish his presence early, on the second play from scrimmage vs. Utah, he batted down a Jordan Wynn pass and ended that drive by tackling a receiver on a fourth-down snap that netted no yardage, later sacking Wynn for a 13-yard loss while delivering five tackles…Three of his six solo tackles vs. Arizona State came on third-down snaps, as he followed with a trio of third-down pressures along with ten tackles (6 solos) that included sacking QB Nick Foles for an 8-yard loss among his two stops for loss in a 48-41 victory over Arizona…Took down QB Zach Maynard for a 9-yard loss, causing a fumble vs. California…Recorded six tackles with a stop for a loss vs. Notre Dame and was in on two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a 3-yard sack of Tyler Hansen in a 42-17 rout of Colorado…Twice sacked QB Darron Thomas, including a 5-yarder on a third-down snap that caused a fumble late in the first quarter in a 38-35 upset win over Oregon, killing the Ducks' chances for playing in the national championship game.
Perry was limited early in the season by a sprained ankle that he suffered in fall camp, forcing him to sit out the Trojans' first game vs. Hawaii and play in a reserve role for three contests before earning nine starting assignments at strong-side defensive end…Posted 25 tackles (15 solos) with four sacks for minus 27 yards, 7.5 stops for losses of 39 yards and a team-high eighteen quarterback pressures…Caused two fumbles, recovering one for an 8-yard advancement…Also recorded three pass deflections…Had a 7-yard sack in the Washington State clash and caused a fumble after sacking QB Andrew Luck for an 8-yard loss vs. Stanford…Followed with a 7-yard sack vs. California and made two of his three tackles behind the line of scrimmage in a 34-33 decision over Arizona State…In the Notre Dame clash, Perry sacked QB Tommy Rees for a 5-yard loss on a third-&-10 snap, as the Trojan recovered the ball and advanced it eight yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by USC quarterback Mitch Mustain…Closed out the season with 1.5 stops for minus 10 yards, three pressures and five tackles (4 solos) vs. UCLA.
Even though Perry was used as a key reserve in the defensive end rotation, the first-year player was named to the Football Writers Association, The NFL Draft Report, The Sporting News, Phil Steele and College Football News Freshman All-American first- teams, as he also earned Freshman All-Pac 10 Conference honors from ESPN.com and The Sporting News…Playing mostly on the weak-side in thirteen games, he did earn his first career start in the Stanford clash…Was limited in late September with a bruised knee, but still managed to become the first freshman to pace the team with eight sacks for minus 58 yards, as he delivered nine stops for losses of 63 yards, ten quarterback pressures and 24 tackles (16 solos)…Not even Hollywood could have written the script for Perry's college debut, as he terrorized San Jose State with a pair of sacks and three stops for losses of 25 yards among his four tackles…Sacked QB Jake Locker twice for minus 20 yards and was in on four solo hits vs. Washington…Followed with two more sacks in the Washington State game and had a 2-yard sack with a pair of pressures vs. Notre Dame…Closed out the season with a 7-yard sack of QB Dave Shinskie in a 24-13 defeat of Boston College in the Emerald Bowl.
Red-shirted as a freshman, competing at defensive end with the scout team.
2009 Season…Was limited in practices prior to the California clash after suffering a knee bruise vs. Washington State after recording his second sack for the day, but still played vs. the Bears. 2010 Season…Perry suffered an ankle sprain in a pile-up during an August 12th scrimmage that would prevent him from playing in the season opener vs. Hawaii and keep him in a reserve role throughout the rest of September's schedule.
4.58 in the 40-yard dash…1.57 10-yard dash…2.59 20-yard dash…4.66 20-yard shuttle… 7.25 three-cone drill…38 ½-inch vertical jump…10'4" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 35 times…33-inch arm length…9 ½-inch hands…77 7/8-inch wingspan.
Perry first attended McKenzie High School in Detroit, Michigan, where during his junior season, he earned All-Metro and All-City that season after he registered 75 tackles and eleven sacks…As a senior, he transferred to Detroit's Martin Luther King High School, where the two-sport athlete competed as a tight end, linebacker and defensive end…Had 147 tackles and a state record 36 sacks in 2007, earning All-American honors from USA Today All-USA, Parade, Super Prep, Prep Star, EA Sports and Scout.com…On the other side of the ball, he hauled in fourteen passes for 310 yards (22.1 ypc) with eight touch-downs, as King High went 14-0 and won the state title…Was also named Super Prep All-Midwest, Prep Star All-Midwest, All-State, Detroit News All-Metro, Detroit News All-Detroit and Detroit News Dream Team MVP…Also lettered in basketball at King High.