Perkins Pushing for recognition

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Last updated: 08/14/2012 2:23 PM
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Freshman Perkins Pushing for Recognition
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The tattoo on David Perkins' left arm reads "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

It's part of a Psalm from the Bible, but translates to his football attitude very well.

David Perkins
Photo by Jim Davidson
David Perkins

"To me it means that when things get hard, just remember that it's going to get better," he explains. "Just keep pushing through it."

As a true freshman experiencing a college football camp for the first time, that's exactly the proper attitude to have. But for many players, it is easier said than done.

It's one thing to simply keep pushing, but it's another to actually push through, which is where Perkins is starting to find himself as fall camp moves toward September.

The South Bend native, and former Notre Dame commit, was impressive enough in a Saturday scrimmage to earn Urban Meyer's praise the next day while meeting with the media.

"He had a heck of a scrimmage yesterday," Meyer said. "He’s a fly and hit guy, which we want. He’ll play this year. How much? He’s still working on that."

When told of the accolades that his coach had bestowed upon him, Perkins appreciated it, but understood that the only way to keep receiving those accolades is to keep doing exactly what he's been doing to this point.

"That makes you feel good," Perkins said of his coach's kudos.

"As a freshman, you want to be the guy, but when you come in here it's not always like that. Nothing is handed to you. You have to earn that. You have to earn your stripes. You've got to show what you've got, and bring that effort and intensity every day. Every day."

As far as his performance, when asked what he did that was special, his answer could have simply been "I listened".

"They told us to come out here and go all out," he said.

"You do that, you make plays, do what you’re supposed to do and good things will happen. Just do what’s asked of you and give 100 percent of your effort and bring intensity. That was my mindset going into the scrimmage. I just wanted to make sure my job was done, fast and well."

For Perkins, doing his job fast and well is something that he has grown accustomed to, but it didn't just happen. He didn't just wake up one day and discover that he could play football. It took work, which is why the amount of work that is now needed does not come as a surprise to him.

"This is Ohio State," he said. "This is a high level of football.

"Nothing here is going to be a cake walk.

"You're going to have to bring it if you want some attention here. If you want to stand out, you're going to have to do something very well. And bring a lot of effort and intensity."

He also understands that not only will it be difficult, but there will be plenty of talented players looking to earn just as much of the coaches' attention as he plans on doing.

While he can't control how much of a name others make for themselves, he can certainly control how much of a name he makes for himself.

"Coming in here and training, you train to be good and to make good impressions and show what you can do," he said. "I came in here and I've played my game. Played fast, fly to the ball and hit hard.

"There are a lot of other guys out here who play fast and can hit as well, so it's not easy to catch anyone's eye, but it's the effort and the passion that you have to play with to separate yourself. You just have to want it more."

Being labeled a "fly and hit" guy by Urban Meyer definitely makes it sound as if Perkins has caught at least one coach's eye, and there are surely more to come.

If Perkins can keep up his present pace, expect to see him on the field quite a bit this season. He won't play the number of snaps that he would like to, but that will then become just one more thing for him to push through.

After all, before there can be a joyful morning, there has to be some type of a night of endurance, and it would appear that David Perkins has prepared himself very well for it.

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