The Loyalist: Charles Perkins never wandered from path to Georgia Tech

Despite making up his mind in January of 2009, Collins Hill's star running back Charles Perkins never wavered on his commitment to Georgia Tech. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Despite making up his mind in January of 2009, Collins Hill's star running back Charles Perkins never wavered on his commitment to Georgia Tech. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

How sure was Charles Perkins that he wanted to play for Georgia Tech? So sure that he actually committed to Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson on Feb. 1, 2009, three days before last year’s national signing day.

“I was actually going to do it before then,” said the 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back, who is already enrolled and attending classes at Georgia Tech. “They were my first offer. It came mid-junior year. I went to a couple of games and a couple of visits. My mom loved it. My dad came up to a bowl practice with me and I pretty much told Coach Johnson then I was going to commit. But I didn’t do it right there. I waited until February.”

In the year since Perkins resisted countless temptations by dozens of recruiters to get him to waver on that commitment. And he gave Tech’s rivals plenty of reasons to want to turn him.

Perkins was a one-man Ramblin Wreck for the Collins Hill Eagles. Despite the fact everybody in the stadium knew he was going to run the football, Perkins plowed through stacked defenses to the tune of 1,646 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns and tacked on another 300-plus yards receiving.

Perkins quickly served notice in the first game of the season against rival Parkview High. The bruising tailback carried the ball 33 times to the tune of 302 yards and scored his team’s only touchdown in a blue-collar 10-7 win. And so the season went.

Auburn, Tennessee and Wake Forest were the most persistent suitors. They continued to recruit Perkins after others gave up and focused their energies elsewhere. Or at least trying to recruit him.

“They were all trying to contact me,” said Perkins, sitting on a bench on the Tech campus between classes this past week. “They were sending me things, sending me letters, inviting me to games and to take visits. But my coach kind of dealt with all that stuff. I was just focused on the season.”

Said Collins Hill coach Billy Wells: “For Charles, what you see is what you get. He’s a first-class kid and a high-character individual. He knew when he made his commitment to Georgia Tech he was going to stand by his word. The coaches who came by the office and wanted to know about Charles, who wanted to know if there was any opening or if he was solid, it was pretty easy to look them in the eye and tell them he was firm with his commitment.”

That doesn’t mean Perkins hasn’t had second thoughts. Not about his decision to attend the Institute, but about playing the recruiting game a little, about prolonging the process and maybe taking a trip or two just for the fun of it.

“At one time there were a bunch of schools coming after me,” Perkins said. “I think I would have been like some of these guys I see that have 30, 40 offers. I think I would have been up there, too, if I would have waited. But I didn’t see the point in it. You can only choose one.”

He took just one official visit and that was, of course, to Georgia Tech on the 12th of December.

“After that, I thought to myself, ‘man, I could have gotten a lot more free food and stuff, seen some nice places,’” he said with a laugh. “But I made my decision and that’s what I was sticking with.”

THE LOYALIST

Definition: A prospect who commits to a school early, sticks with that commitment without so much as a waffle and signs with chosen school on or before national signing day

The example: Charles Perkins, RB, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Collins Hill High School, Lawrenceville. AJC’s No. 5-ranked player.

Fun fact: Perkins’ most impressive individual performance came in the first game of the season when he rushed for 302 yards on 33 carries against Parkview. Oddly, Perkins’ longest run from scrimmage that night was 24 yards.

Recruiting situation: Calm as a frozen lake. Perkins is already taking classes at Tech and rising at 5 a.m. twice a week for off-season workouts with the Yellow Jackets.

Status: Enrolled.

93 comments Add your comment

Spenser

January 31st, 2010
6:22 am

Class act. Glad to have you aboard, Charles.

Frank

January 31st, 2010
6:27 am

Wish you the best Charles except for that last regular season game eacch year.

THWGT!!!!

DAWGINGERMANY

January 31st, 2010
7:03 am

Good luck to the kid. Ga Tech got a great one. Thanks for the write up Chip, I like to hear about kids like this. Hats off to his parents, they raised a great kid, I know they are proud. Good luck at Tech!

GO DAWGS!

Gator Nation

January 31st, 2010
7:10 am

Good to see kids that make a commitment and then have the integrity to honor it. Honor, now that’s a word you don’t hear to much in our society anymore. Either make a COMMITMENT or DON’T, simple as that. People will respect you alot more.

lanier

January 31st, 2010
7:11 am

a guy like this will probably play all 4 years for Tech at a verry high level then make an impact in the pros

George P. Burdell

January 31st, 2010
7:26 am

Good so to see a story like this when we have the absurdity that leads up to this Wednesday. I look forward to seeing this kid play and I hope he has a great career down on the Flats.

Ozzy

January 31st, 2010
7:41 am

It’ll be easy to cheer for a kid like that. What a refreshing story – a kid that knows what the work committment means.

None of the “three hat” BS on signing day.

Good luck to you Charles, now that you won’t be playing North Gwinnett anymore.

GT Rules

January 31st, 2010
7:49 am

Charles, you so showed a maturity most adults can’t handle. You will look way back one day as you are asked to speak to youth about loyalty, sacrifice and resisting the “worldly – what feels good for the moment” temptation … and be a great example. Keep remembering who you are as more temptations keep coming at you. It’s great to be a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket! Tear ‘em up.

Foothills football fan

January 31st, 2010
7:51 am

Glad to read stories about student athletes like Perkins and the Boyd kid at Roswell. A commitment followed through on does make the kid an instant fan favorite.

collegeballfan

January 31st, 2010
7:52 am

Yeah this is a refreshing story. No matter what school you pull for the sight of a kid being a man of his word is impressive.

Now back to pure football. I know he can run, I know he can catch; but can he block?

BamaDawg

January 31st, 2010
7:53 am

While it’s good to hear stories like this, the general tone of the recruiting articles seems to be that everyone but UGA is in great shape – GT has loyal commits but Louisville/UT/others are stealing UGA commits left and right. Is this a Georgia Newspaper? My guess is when is when all letters of intent are signed, there will be plenty of loyal commits with the dawgs too. At least in Birmingham, the newspaper knows who their team is.

1jacketfan

January 31st, 2010
8:13 am

it’s good to see young men with great character, good men play for good teams, great men play for great teams .

Ozzy

January 31st, 2010
8:15 am

My guess is that Georgia will be just fine BamaDawg.

No need to be paranoid. Everyone isn’t out to get Georgia.

And your comment about “Georgia Newspaper”, “knows who their team is”, well I’m thinking you know how stupid those are.

GT Rocks On

January 31st, 2010
8:18 am

BamaDawg, the AJC staff are practically all UGA jounalist grads. The AJC even gives UGA it’s own blog who doesn’t allow people to particpate if they post contrary to his agenda. Promise you, it’s a UGA paper even though it’s located within only a few miles to GT campus.

JTUGA

January 31st, 2010
8:24 am

GT Rocks On, how do you figure its an UGA paper? Mark Bradley constantly rips Mark Richt, saying his job is in jeopardy. He even predicted a blow out win for Tech in the Clean, Old Fashion Hate game. Also Tech has their own blog on here as well. I see it more as a bandwagon newspaper rather than a UGA papaer.

SEC Fan

January 31st, 2010
8:26 am

GT Rocks On, do you have trouble seeing through your ribs?

Pdawg

January 31st, 2010
8:29 am

I never “waver” in my love for UGA.

bhamwreck

January 31st, 2010
8:40 am

A back or B back? either way looking forward to seeing Perkins with the ball.

Ozzy

January 31st, 2010
8:54 am

Well let’s see JTUGA. Isn’t the AJC owned by Cox Communications? And don’t they also own WSB radio and WSB TV?

So, if we connect the dots, wouldn’t it benefit Cox to promote UGA over Tech, since WSB 750 AM is the “Home of the Dogs”.

mg67

January 31st, 2010
9:02 am

Great story,Great kid Great school and Im a Bama fan!

ckgator

January 31st, 2010
9:07 am

Is it me, or is Herschel Walker fighting in the MMA a shameful event? Isn’t it below a former Heisman winner to participate in this?

That they matched him up against an obvious patsy seems…. like we just watched the schoolyard bully pummel the weakest kid in school… and cheered for it.

I’m no fan of ultimate fighting to begin with, but this seems only a few rungs above dog-fighting to me.

Discuss….

RomeDawg

January 31st, 2010
9:10 am

Good luck at Tech. I am gonna hate seeing this guy with the ball one Saturday a year. I wish the AJC would post more stories like this instead of the Da’Rick drama. As for the debate of the AJC being biased, they are without a doubt Tech fans. The paper ceased delivering to Athens last year and almost every article on UGA football has a negative. “The Great” Furman Bisher actually wrote an article, that the AJC published, about Paul Johnson being one of the greatest football coaches of all time. Clearly they embarrassed themselves by mocking his senility. Headline should have read: PAUL JOHNSON, GREATEST COACH TO GET CRUSHED IN EVERY BOWL GAME.

poopdawg

January 31st, 2010
9:12 am

In the Parkview game Perkin’s stats are incredible. I would love to watch replay of that game. None of the yards were easy.

1970 Dawg

January 31st, 2010
9:16 am

It’s refreshing to see a young man of character who knows what
commitment means. No prima donna stuff, no “hats on the table” on
NSD. Good luck to you, Mr Perkins.

mg67

January 31st, 2010
9:19 am

RomeDawg I argee I also wish the AJC would post more stories like this.Lots of good kids out there

SickandTired

January 31st, 2010
9:22 am

Why do Dawg Fans worry so much that the AJC is a Tech paper? Do you idiots not remember all the articles about the two Davids that played for Georgia. I mean come on, there’s never been articles of that volume about any Tech associated. Georgia will have another top 5 recruiting class so get you panties out of a wad Dawggies…..Then ole Marky Mark Mark will get his hands on them and turn them into undisciplined yellow flag producers…..Mark Richt, overrated, underachieving and just too dawg gone nice a guy to compete in the SEC…nothing wrong with that. Looks like he just might turn Georgia into a basketball school if they keep squandering all those resources on football…..give basketball a change Georgia….you’ve got a lot better chance of being competitive in that than you do in football…that ship has left the dock and Captains Meyer and Saban ask that you please take a seat.
Georgia: The Wisconsin of the SEC.

Jacket Backer

January 31st, 2010
9:24 am

thanks chip!….nice article……nice to have another quality young man on the flats!!….

GOOOOOO JACKETS!!!!

German Shepherd Dawg

January 31st, 2010
9:28 am

I’m a little surprised to see love expressed in a sports blog even by Alabama fans in support of GT, but then again, it isn’t the same as bashing UGA. I also can’t say anything bad about this Collins kid and his integrity. To clarify for all, these stories were written about A.J. Green before he came to Athens, indicating the paper shows no real bias, but sometimes prints articles that generate interest as much as meriting real consideration…like hiring back Brian Van Gorder. Anyone in their right mind would realize that stepping from an NFL DC to a college DC is a step down. It might not be as much in salary, but Van Gorder making that move made no sense. Grantham made more sense. Kirby Smart would have made sense, but he’s tied to Alabama. Now we’ve got our guy, and personally I hope we face UA in the title game soon. I think our defense is going to surprise a lot of people. Anyway…back to the Perkins kid, the highest praise I can offer is, I wish he was a Dawg but since he isn’t I wish him the best every game of the year but one.

German Shepherd Dawg

January 31st, 2010
9:30 am

Sick and Tired,

Your moniker describes my opinion of your comments perfectly. Richt is an excellent coach and we will again be the cream of the SEC and under his guidance.

I hate fair weather fans.

Todd

January 31st, 2010
9:34 am

Congrats Charles. Looking forward to watching you RUN THIS STATE on the flats in the fall.

GT For You And Me

January 31st, 2010
9:42 am

Integrity and loyalty are a bi-product from his parents. The same could be said of Josh Nesbitt,who is from my home town of Greensboro……. Two great young men from many at GT……..

St Simons II

January 31st, 2010
9:43 am

Sick, by a better chance of being competitive, do you mean “73-66″ or “30-24″? BBBBWWWWAAAAHHHHAAAA!!!!!!!

ChuyDawg

January 31st, 2010
9:47 am

Good to see stories like this that define “commitment.” I wish there were some stories on the true UGA commitments that have not wavered on their commitment. They may not have 5 stars, but have been true to their word since day 1.

This kid is a monster and will thrive in CPJ’s system. I hope he has a great career except for that one week in November.

mg67

January 31st, 2010
9:48 am

PRAISE kids like Perkins were ever they commit. Most commits out there act and behave like Perkins but thats not what sells headlines sad to say

Guess what?

January 31st, 2010
9:56 am

Darick Rogers is in Knoxville even as I type this….

Buzzed Driving

January 31st, 2010
9:56 am

Perkins will make a great B back with 20 more pounds added to his frame. He will replace Allen at that position after this year. Does CPJ plan on red-shirting Perkins this year?

Regarding AJC bias, I believe the AJC writes the positive articles about the team that is performing well. Last year Tech got all the good coverage and deservedly so.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

January 31st, 2010
10:01 am

who is Darick?

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

January 31st, 2010
10:06 am

Buzzed, agreed. As for MB writing about Richt getting fired. He only wrote what UGA fans were saying around the water cooler. I’m not sure but this blog could be a little slanted but it could be UGA hasn’t had much good news lately (although it is still a top 10 class) on the recruiting front. We will monitor the tone once the Dawgs recruiting fortunes change.

Guess what?

January 31st, 2010
10:24 am

A soon-to-be UGA decommit.

Stinger Envy

January 31st, 2010
10:35 am

((((30-24))))

Jacketman

January 31st, 2010
10:38 am

Glad to have you aboard Charles. It is great to have an athlete with your kind of character join our team. I guess you have already noticed that fans like BamaDawg are beginning to look over their shoulders. They know we are coming after them. Go Jackets!! THWG

Hackjob

January 31st, 2010
11:07 am

The ajc does not support either of the home teams. Instead, they producs articles to encourage traffic on their website as their subscriptions continue to plummett. Anytime you see a generally positive article on GT, especially by Bradley, there is either an implicit or explicit jab taken at uga. The ajc writers live by how much traffic they produce, so they try to rilw each fan base up. Maybe one day Atlanta will have a big city newspaper.

Goldtimer

January 31st, 2010
11:18 am

Welcome aboard Charles. Have fun beating the Dawgs four times :)

Bill

January 31st, 2010
11:29 am

Hack- Sadly that is exactly what is happening. In the day of cyber everything newspapers are quickly going the way of the Dodo. These practices of baiting people into commenting on blogs to make it look like more people are reading this stuff is a last-ditch effort to save themselves. Sad really.

Common sense

January 31st, 2010
11:49 am

Regarding ajc bias: UGA has Bill King’s ugly mug among the other ajc columnists. GT has????

Top Dawg

January 31st, 2010
11:53 am

Goldtimer: Do you know how many years it will take GT to “beat Georgia four times”? This guy’s grandchildren will be in school by then.

BILLY JACK

January 31st, 2010
12:02 pm

Goldtimer-you could not beat uga 4 times in 20 years.Where do these techies come from??I do want to say this kid has been brought up the right way-with the exception of choosing tech to go to school,his parents taught him that your word does mean something.

D.Ellis

January 31st, 2010
12:02 pm

What goes around comes around…..Last year UGA steals the #1 player ( in TN.) and top 5 WR in Marlon Brown…..looks like UT is swipin D. Rogers from UGA this year.

I think this one counts as more of a loss for UGA if it happens. D. Rogers is the crown jewell of UGA’s class. B.Brown was the jewell in UT”s class last year….not Marlon.

pcbmike

January 31st, 2010
12:02 pm

German Shepherd Dawg, I agree with your comments to “sick and tired”. I am a Tech fan, but will admit that Richt is an excellent coach. Doesn’t he have the best record of all UGA coaches?

Spenser

January 31st, 2010
12:04 pm

Top Dawg. UGA has the better talent, but I’d take GT’s coaching. If this exodus of UGA’s talent continues and UGA keeps signing the Zander Ogletree’s (they battled Savannah State, West Alabama, and Shorter College for him) GT’s talent will catch up and those 4 GT wins over UGA won’t be as far off as you think.