When it comes to football recruiting, it’s easy to lose track of early commitments, particularly when they suffer a serious injury. Thus is the case for Syracuse University signee Tyrone Perkins, who a lot of folks probably forget was the first to commit to the Orange during the 2015 recruiting cycle. Perkins was one of three running backs to sign with Syracuse in the class, along with Dontae Strickland and Jordan Fredericks, and because he committed so early and is coming off of a torn ACL, he tends to get lost in the shuffle.
But make no mistake, Perkins has the ability to become an impact player for Syracuse.
The 6-foot, 190 pound back was sparsely recruited during his senior season, in part due to his injury and also because there were questions about the level of competition he faced at Friends Academy on Long Island. In fact, Syracuse was his only offer, which he jumped on last April 16. Before then, not many people knew who he was, though he quickly started gaining a solid reputation and finished his high school career as a 3-star rated talent by both Scout and Rivals.
Perkins tore his ACL during a scrimmage last September, his senior season lost due to something as simple as bad luck. Well, bad luck for Perkins, but potentially good luck for Syracuse, since the injury forced his continued low profile and kept other power five conference schools away. But the entire time, there were questions about how well he’d be able to recover from his knee injury. Questions that he seems pretty keen on answering, based on a tweet he sent out earlier today, in which he said that his “knee feels great.”
So the running back with the 4.5 speed and endless agility seems to be on track to be full go when fall camp rolls around, though obviously it wouldn’t be particularly shocking to see him take a little more time to fully recover. After all, with talents like Strickland and Fredericks joining him at Syracuse, there’s no need to rush his rehabilitation along since in all likelihood, he’s a redshirt candidate anyway. But it’s great knowing that he’s getting back to full health more quickly than anyone could have anticipated.
As a junior, Perkins averaged better than 11 yards-per-carry, an absolutely silly statistic that probably indicates he far outshined the level of competition. Frankly, though, New York state running backs who put up gaudy numbers often go on to tremendous careers despite playing against inferior opponents. Look at former Michigan star Mike Hart, or Latavius Murray, currently a rising talent with the Oakland Raiders.
Perkins may be overlooked right now, but within the next few years, there’s every reason to believe he’s going to be a tremendously productive player. He’s got a strong combination of size and athleticism, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see him find his way onto the field in one capacity or another sooner rather than later.