Checking in with Jonathan Perry
If there were any doubts about Jonathan Perry’s ability to play quarterback at the next level, the Dunbar standout erased those thoughts two months ago in Akron, Ohio.
At Scout.com’s 7-on-7 passing tournament in March, Perry quarterbacked the Maryland team to the championship, throwing eight touchdowns in six games.
“That was fun because we played against the top juniors across the nation,” Perry said. “Logan Heastie, the wide receiver that committed to West Virginia and [W.Va. quarterback commitment] Tahj Boyd, we shut them down. People down there underestimated us because we were a lot smaller, but no team was athletic enough for us.”
Since the 7-on-7 tournament, Perry and his Dunbar teammates have played host to a number of college coaches. Perry, 6 feet 3, 193 pounds, spoke with Recruiting Report recently about his recruitment.
What’s the latest on your recruiting?
UConn came down [to Dunbar] and it seems like they’re interested. Illinois has been down. I’ve just got to get bigger, improve on my grades and go to a couple college camps. And Maryland said they liked me a lot, too.
Do you think any schools might be close to offering?
I think the closest one is Connecticut. [UConn offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rob Ambrose] came in, sized me up and said that I could play quarterback. ... But I guess I’ve got to keep my grades up. If I keep my grades up, he can keep recruiting me. He’s one of the realest coaches I’ve met. Rob Ambrose, he came in and was straightforward.
What are you doing to make sure you’re fully qualified?
I’ve been taking SAT classes. ... Hopefully I’ll just keep taking it and get a higher score. I have SAT prep every Tuesday and Thursday, so I’m just keeping my head in the books. I have a tutor. I was taking some classes at Dunbar -- we had some students from Johns Hopkins helping us out, but now I’ve got a one-on-one tutor.
Has it been fun going through the recruiting process with your teammates?
When most coaches come in, I’m in there with all those guys -- Tevin [Brown], Sean [Farr], Tavon [Austin] and Gary [Onuekwusi] -- we’ve got the big five. One of our defensive lineman is starting to hear from schools like Tennessee, James Madison. I’ve been talking to James Madison, too. But the process is just fun. It’s just like a dream, [the possibility of] just playing college football.
Has there been any talk from coaches about trying you at a position other than quarterback?
[West Virginia defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel] asked me what I would want to play in college and I told him quarterback because I’ve been playing quarterback all my life. He didn’t say any particular position, he just asked. ... I know I’ve got the ability [to play quarterback]. But as long as I’m getting on the field, I’ll go to receiver or the secondary -- as long as I’m getting a free education.
Credit: Sun photo by Kim Hairston