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May 2, 2013

Kent Perkins putting in work as reporting day nears




With all the hand-ringing and discussion that the recruitment of A'Shawn Robinson brought on in the Texas Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class, a couple other prospects didn't always get the attention they deserved. One such player is offensive lineman Kent Perkins, one of the country's top overall talents and a player who decided early on he didn't need to always be in the media spotlight.

Instead of playing games and creating drama to see his name plastered in the headlines, Perkins, a Rivals100 member out of Dallas Lake Highlands, chose to avoid media interviews whenever possible and simply go about his business both on the field and in the classroom. No spotlight, no drama, no hype - it was the way Perkins wanted it and he wouldn't change a thing.

Now three months removed from signing day, Perkins is closing in on his official arrival as a member of the Longhorn football program. He graduates high school on June 9 and will move down to Austin the very next day.

"'m excited. I'm really excited," Perkins said this week. "Now just doing what coach Bennie (Wylie) told me to do, staying up on my workouts, making sure I'm conditioned. He said it's a tempo offense they're running, said to come in and be ready to play. That's what I'm preparing to do."

Nobody can accuse the 6-5, 305-pound Perkins of being lazy and not putting in maximum effort. He doesn't start classes until 9 a.m. but he gets up at 6 and works out for about two hours before beginning his school day. The hard work is paying off.

"I'm staying on top of the workouts. It gets hard as the week goes by. I work out in the morning, and sometimes I don't want to get up but you have to make yourself do it," Perkins said. "I talked to some of the other guys (who signed with Texas) and they said the same thing. It's a lot of weights and reps get heavier each week. But you have to take care of your body, eat good foods and nutrition your body well."

In the early portion of the spring semester, Perkins was participating on Lake Highlands' wrestling team. He was off to a 5-0 start but the pounds were falling off. His weight dipped down to 283 pounds, and Perkins decided it was time to give up wrestling so he could focus on his football workouts. He wants to come into Austin and play at between 305-308 pounds, roughly the same weight as 2013 No. 1 NFL draft pick Eric Fisher.

"I was around 283. I didn't want to be there. Right now I'm around 305 so I'm trying to build my weight up," Perkins said.

Looking back at his recruitment, Perkins committed to Texas on February 27 of 2012, nearly a full year before he would sign his Letter Of Intent. Never once did he waiver on his decision and Perkins said he's still thrilled with his choice.

"I feel very confident in my decision. I'm excited about the guys coming down there with me. I talk to them on the phone all the time. Rami Hammad, hopefully I'll be playing beside him. I just love my decision," Perkins said. "I'm so comfortable with the coaches. I know that I'm going to be taken care of when I get down there. I'm just excited to get started."

Ranked as the nation's third-best offensive tackle prospect in the 2013 class, Perkins was an Army All-American and a participant in the first ever Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. He's kept in touch with the Texas coaches since signing day, speaking with UT offensive line coach Stacy Searels this week, and Perkins is hoping he can make an immediate dent on the Longhorn depth chart.

"The coaches tell me play their best offensive linemen. If you're the best athlete offensive line wise, they're going to play you," Perkins said. "They said you may end playing guard or tackle, but most likely I'll end up playing tackle. I'm just excited about going down there, playing hard and competing for a spot."

In his conversation with coach Searels, Perkins said it was stressed that he needs to stay on top of his grades but also be in top condition when he reports to UT next month. With the Longhorns implementing a new up-tempo offense, Searels wants Perkins in shape and ready to take a high number of reps.

"I feel good about it. We run tempo at my high school. I'm really comfortable with it," Perkins said. "I can come of f the ball, do what I need to do and get back to the huddle. Being a big guy, we get tired more easily than the other guys, so you have to do what you need to do to stay on your conditioning."

Perkins was part of a five-man Texas Longhorn offensive class, joining Hammad, Darius James, Jake Raulerson and JUCO OT Desmond Harrison.


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