Illinois State pass rusher, Ohio State transfer David Perkins making bid for NFL

David Perkins is determined to duplicate his pass-rushing success in the NFL

The Illinois State outside linebacker and former Ohio State player recorded 69 tackles, 12 for losses and 8 1/2 sacks last season.

"I think my attention to detail stands out," Perkins told National Football Post. "I watch a lot of film, break my opponents down. I know what they're expecting me to give them: speed. They don't expect some of my other moves."

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound college defensive end projects to outside linebacker in the NFL. He's run the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. Perkins' campus Pro Day workout is March 8.

Perkins played in nine games as a true freshman for the Buckeyes and had six tackles, five solos.
He was a blue-chip recruit out of high school who rushed for 1,311 yards and 15 touchdowns and had 103 tackles as a senior with 22 for losses, seven sacks and eight forced fumbles after recording 13 sacks as a junior.
"Out of high school, my first offer was at wide receiver," Perkins said. "I actually never had any real intentions of playing defense at all. My senior year of high school after being switched to running back, I realized I was a Division I running back. I got offers from LSU, Oregon, Mississippi State. I can count on one hand the schools that didn't want me.
"I realized I was a tall running back and that causes for short careers, so I decided to pick the defensive side of the ball. I went to Ohio State and spent my freshman year there. I was behind [Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker] Ryan Shazier. I decided to transfer. I wanted the opportunity to play more and put my career in my own hands. I transferred to Illinois State and I've led the team in sacks every year I've been here."
In 2014, Perkins had 64 tackles, 12 for losses and eight sacks with one interception. He was a Missouri Valley all-newcomer selection two years ago after transferring when he had 21 tackles, 14 solos, five tackles for losses, four sacks and forced three fumbles.
"I feel like probably about 80 percent of th4e game is mental," Perkins said. "If you know what's going on and who's going to be where, if you know offensive tendencies and really break down your opponent, you reduce the game to technique and effort. More of the game is relied on mentally and physical attributes."
Perkins has three classes left to complete his sociology degree.
When he's done playing, he'd like to go into coaching at the high school level.
"I’d like to take a high school program and turn it into a powerhouse," Perkins said.
Perkins said he'll bring a high-character personality into an NFL locker room.
"I'd like teams to know I take pride in being a good person," Perkins said. "I'd like teams to know I take pride in having good morals and values and actually living by them and putting them into practice everyday and not just being a football player."
Perkins recently coached elementary school players at clinic in Indiana, where he's training for the NFL draft.
Perkins has bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times and has a 33-inch vertical leap.
Perkins is represented by veteran NFL agent Chris Martin of OTG Sports.
"Chris is a good dude," Perkins said. "He's good with communication. He's got a good plan and structure set up to help guys get drafted."
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.  
Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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