Scouting Report: Khurtiss Perry

Khurtiss Perry
Khurtiss Perry is a good fit at defensive tackle for the Hokies. (@KhurtissPerry)

New portal entry Khurtiss Perry is another addition to the defensive line. Unlike most transfers, we’ll be spending time with his high school film, as his college film is limited, and I think he was playing away from his strengths. Fortunately, he put together 22 sacks and 30 hurries in his senior year, so there’s lots to look at.

On the surface, that lack of college play might be surprising, given his stats. Perry was one of the top prospects in the nation, with Clemson and Auburn also vying for his signature. But if you dig a little deeper, he didn’t have the prototypical build or skill set of your typical 3-4/4-3 defensive tackle, especially one playing for Alabama’s gap-clogging odd front. He was listed as 6’2, 265, but looking at pictures of him out of pads, I could see that being generous. The fact he had the same measurements after two years at Alabama seems to support this line of thinking.

Looking at this year’s Tide roster, I’m guessing Perry would’ve been either the shortest defensive end or lightest defensive tackle. That’s not where a guy entering his third year on a squad wants to be. I think Alabama flirted with being quicker a few years back, but watch their recent games and you’ll see the DL working hard to control blockers instead of shooting gaps. There are reverse drive blocks galore, and old-fashioned shoulder shivers. Even freed up by blitzes or rushing the passer, the defensive line is usually squeezing down the blocking surface. That’s not what a guy like Perry needs to be doing. As we’ll see, he ended up as a tweener for the Tide.

Now, you can’t blame Bama for grabbing him: if a guy with that athleticism is in your backyard and wants to be on your team, you take a flier on him and hope he grows into what you need. Perry stuck around for the new coaching staff, and while some schematic changes appeared, the Tide kept DL coach Freddie Roach and his style of line play. Perry didn’t get any traction this past spring and saw very limited scrimmage time. It seems like the writing was on the wall, and he transferred.