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Better Know a Freshman: Harold Perkins

The crown jewel of LSU’s signing class

The Story

Perkins was born in New Orleans but relocated to Cypress, about 45 minutes outside of Houston, because of Hurricane Katrina. Perkins grew up to be one of the top linebackers in America and was a pretty dang good running back too. Anybody who was anybody threw Perkins an offer: Bama, Florida, Texas, among others but it was Texas A&M, not LSU, who Perkins committed to initially.

Perkins pledged to the Aggies at the Under Armour All-America game in January but never signed a LOI. He wasn’t a silent commit that signed his papers in December, he was just a verbal commit and not yet bound to Texas A&M, that gave LSU the opportunity to put the full-court press on Perkins.

Whatever notion Perkins had of Brian Kelly changed after the two met. Couple that with his desire to come back home and be coached by Matt House, Perkins flipped and signed with LSU in February.

The Numbers

247 Composite Ranking: *****

247 Composite Rating: .9948

Put together well with a lean, athletic build. Not overly long but good height and has some space to add mass in college. Dynamic two-way player with big-play ability with the ball in his hands and as an attacking defender. Legitimately could be a high-major running back prospect in addition to elite linebacker recruit. Outstanding tester in a combine setting (4.49 40 prior to junior season). Athleticism jumps off the screen. Flashes home run-hitting speed as a ball carrier that translates to broad pursuit range on defense. Displays consistent back-side chase-down athleticism. Fluidity shows in running back touches and in redirecting ability on defense. Often plays from the edge but also plays off the ball. Lines up at receiver, running back, and wingback for a wing-T offense. Easy athleticism that makes tough plays look less challenging than they really are. Size will dictate an off-ball role in college, but flashes impressive dip and pass-rush feel off the edge. Generally a sure tackler who can provide the big hit. Honing coverage technique will enhance positional and situational flexibility as a defender. Gets over-aggressive at times and can run himself out of position. Good play strength relative to size but will still need added mass and strength as he progresses to the next level. Size and average length could become an issue against big, athletic tight ends at the next level. Nevertheless, among the top prospects in Texas for his class and one of the top linebackers nationally. Possesses the potential to become a multi-year impact starter at the high-major level with long-term early-round NFL Draft upside.

Evaluation courtesy of 247’s Gabe Brooks

The Film

The Future

The thing I love most about Harold Perkins is his what he’s listed at on LSU’s website. 247 had Perkins at 210 pounds; LSU officially lists him at 220. He was not an early enrollee so he added on 10 pounds on his own. To me that says he’s got the drive to be great.

Perkins will surely see the field in some kind of capacity as a freshman this fall. How much time he gets will depend on what he makes of those opportunities presented to him. At this moment in time Perkins is roughly the same size as BJ Ojulari was when he got to campus. Could he come on as a situational pass rusher? Or could Perkins be so good, so athletic that he simply has to be on the field as an outside linebacker/stand up defensive end tweener?

High End: The next great LSU linebacker. Butkus Award finalist/winner, All-American and All-SEC player, top-15 pick when he enters the NFL Draft.

Low End: A better athlete than linebacker—think a bulkier Marcel Brooks—but stays on the field because he’s just so talented.

Realistic: I think Perkins’ future is going to be determined how Matt House uses him. Perkins is going to be more an off-ball linebacker rather than a true Mike like Devin White or Damone Clark. But House coached up Josh Allen to be an All-American and Nagurski/Bednarik winner, maybe he can do it again with Perkins.