This fifth and final chapter of our “getting to know” series takes a closer look at a player who was a freakish athlete back in the day in the rival city that is Detroit, Mich.
In our final chapter we take a look at linebacker and former first round pick, Nick Perry.
Perry played high school football at Mackenzie High in Detroit before the school was closed following his junior season. Perry transferred to Martin Luther King High School his senior year and saw something very special unfold.
Perry registered a stat sheet that few could rival on Madden set to the rookie level. With a senior year that saw him play positions at defensive lineman, defensive end and tight end, Nick Perry put his name in the Michigan record books.
One-hundred-forty-seven tackles and 36 sacks later – no, that is not a misprint – 36 sacks, Perry saw his way onto the USA Today All-USA first team and also got to participate in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. In between sacking the opposing quarterback, Perry managed to catch 14 passes for 310 yards and 8 touchdowns his senior season.
After a record-breaking season accompanied with a 4.51 40-yard dash, benching 315 pounds and a 3.3 GPA, Perry fielded scholarships from the likes of the University of Miami, Michigan State and the school that ultimately landed him, the University of Southern California.
USC gave Perry a red-shirt his first year with the Trojans. His second season with the team saw him appear in 13 games, racking up 24 tackles, 9 for a loss and a team-best 9 sacks. That was good enough for a 2009 Football Writers Freshman All-American First-Team nod.
Perry went on to start 9 games while appearing in 12 for the Trojans in his red-shirt sophomore season. Though his numbers did not dramatically increase he put together 25 tackles, 7.5 for a loss, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
In 2011, which ended up being Perry’s last on the USC campus before declaring for the draft, he had 54 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Scouts had a lot to say about the former Trojan defensive end. They all agreed he was a very explosive player who could fire off the ball with the likes of any. However, they also added his small size made him an ineffective run-stopper and his lateral movement hindered him in pass coverage.
During the combine, Perry measured 6-3 271 pounds, while running a 4.64 in the 40 and putting up 35 reps on the bench. The draft mastermind that is Ted Thompson made the statement that Nick Perry has got that kind of juice. The Packers selected the former Trojan with the 28th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Perry’s rookie campaign saw his season cut well short after only six games when he was placed on injured reserves with a wrist injury. Perry still managed 18 tackles to go along with 2 sacks.
The 2013 season also left Packers fans wanting more from the first-round pick. Perry played in 11 games while recording 28 tackles, 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Perry also had 5 tackles, 1 sack and 1 stuff in the postseason against, and again I refuse to say it, that team from the west.
2014 has Packers fans on the edge of their seats as it could very well be a huge year for Titletown. Every article you read is all jacked up on “Mountain Dew” about the additions of Julius Peppers and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Don’t get me wrong I feel the same way … but nobody is talking about the possibility that Nick Perry could explode onto the scene and steal the spotlight this season. Perry is a pass-rushing specialist. With the attention that Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers will require, along with an improved and healthy secondary, Perry just may be the surprise (cough, cough … Pro Bowl) of the 2014 Green Bay Packers season.
Ted Thompson is a guru when it comes to evaluating talent. His only flaw – if you can identify one – could possibly be his first-rounders.
Nick Perry had 36 sacks during his senior year in high school while going on to collect 21.5 more at his time at USC. In a limited time during 18 games (one postseason) for the Packers he has added 7 more sacks to his resume.
Don’t be surprised if Nick Perry ends the 2014 as the talk of the town – Titletown that is.