Academic shortcomings out of high school postponed Julius Perkins’ landing spot at a Division I football program.
A painful turf toe injury took away half of Perkins’ first season at Blinn Community College in Texas, further clouding his Division I future.
Not only has Perkins rounded into shape academically, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound outside linebacker/strong safety enjoyed an injury-free spring, earning a scholarship offer from Louisiana-Lafayette, where he committed on Sunday.
“I visited and had a nice talk with Coach Cheese (co-defensive coordinator Charlie Harbison) and coach (Melvin) Smith (co-defensive coordinator),” Perkins said. “They talked to my family, and it wasn’t all about football. It was about my future and how they saw me as a person.”
Perkins, who was recruited by area recruiter Jorge Munoz, said Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth welcomed him as the first member of the program’s Class of 2017.
“He said we got a lot better today,” Perkins recalling Hudspeth’s excitement after his commitment. “He told me to stay strong. He said once I committed, other schools were going to come after me. I’m not sure if I’ll take any visits, but I’m pretty sure on my commitment.”
Perkins plans to graduate in December and enroll at Louisiana-Lafayette in time for the spring semester and participate in spring drills.
The events of the weekend turned into a homecoming of sorts for Perkins, who was born in Jennings before moving to Houston in the fifth grade.
Perkins was a two-year starter for Summer Creek at free safety/outside linebacker, compiling 21 tackles his senior year. He also ran on the school’s track team, competing in the 200 meters and 800-meter relay team.
Perkins also started as a sophomore before missing his entire junior season because of a back injury suffered in an automobile accident.
Because he was three points shy of a qualifying score on the SAT, Perkins had to choose Blinn over Kilgore (Texas) and Trinity Valley (Texas), instead of a Division I school.
Perkins registered nine tackles in four games last season for Blinn before he was sidelined for the rest of the year.
“I’ve realized how important academics are,” he said. “My feelings were hurt when I didn’t go D1. I saw junior college as a step back, but know I see it was a blessing. It’s gotten me focused on my grades now.”