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Monday, August 31, 2009

Perkins’ 300-yard rushing night pushes him into the limelight

For a Division I recruit, Charles Perkins had managed to remain relatively below-the-radar even after his commitment to Georgia Tech last February.

That won’t be the case much longer.

After his 300-plus-yard rushing effort in Collins Hill’s season-opening win over Parkview this past Friday, you can bet a lot of major colleges are wishing they’d made more of a play for the 6-foot-1, 205-pound running back.

“Tipping the scale over 300 yards, that doesn’t come around too often, especially against a perennial power like Parkview,” Collins Hill coach Billy Wells said Monday. “Charles was on a lot of people’s lists as far as being one of the top guys but when he committed to Tech so early it kind of cooled the jets on the interest level in him. But he’s certainly one of the best that I’ve seen or been around.”

After videotape review, Perkins’ official numbers for the game were 302 yards on 33 carries, or 73 percent of the Eagles’ offense on the night. The amazing part is that did not include any break-away runs. The majority of his real estate was earned between the tackles in ball-control, chain-moving situations. Also, Collins Hill had two touchdowns called back due to holding penalties and had a field goal blocked.

“they were loading up the box,” said Perkins, whose longest run from scrimmage was 24 yards. “I watched the film on Sunday and sometimes they had nine or 10 [defenders] in the box. So you could see it was going to be a grind. The offensive line did a great job of giving some room to run.”

Said Well: “It was a workhorse kind of night. In the fourth quarter, when it mattered the most, we took the ball from our 4-yard line and drove it down the field in clock-killing mode. That was part of the deal, too.”

The “home-run” jaunts will come soon enough, Perkins said. He had two 200-plus games last season when he rushed for 1,244 yards and 12 TDs as a junior.

“Charles is a powerful back but he’s fast, too,” Well said. “And he holds our school clean record at 315 pounds. Just a good, all-around player.”

Perkins took classes in summer school this year so he could get ahead and graduate in December. He’ll enroll at The Institute in January.

Interestingly, Perkins’ only other offers were Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Wake Forest, UCF and Wisconsin. Georgia recruited him but not vigorously. He remains a 3-star-ranked prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. That remains a source of motivation.

“I’m always looking to make a statement,” Perkins said. “I look at the backs that are ranked ahead of me and I feel like I can compete against any of them. That keeps me motivated.”

Perkins’ goals are to rush for at least 2,000 yards and to lead Collins Hill to the state championship. Oh, and he’d like to see a couple of more stars added at the end of his name on those recruiting boards.

“I’d love that but not for me,” he said. “It’d make Georgia Tech’s recruiting class look better.”

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