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Sun shines on Perkins, future

Wednesday, Feb. 7, felt like a lovely spring day. There was nobone-chilling, northerly wind stinging the ears nor were there39-degree rain drops bouncing off my bare head.

Birds were singing and bees were humming. Cast your eye upon thefew blooming flowers and you surely will find some honey beesworking overtime to gather precious, sweet nectar.

Inside the Brookhaven High School field house, Fred Perkins wassmiling brightly. That smile lit up the office of BHS head footballcoach and athletic director Greg Wall.

“You can tell Fred has taken a load off,” said Wall to Fred’smom, Brenda Perkins. “He’s been smiling since he made hisdecision.”

Decision-making time came Monday morning when Perkins announcedhis intentions to sign a football scholarship with TulaneUniversity. Wednesday afternoon, he posed with his mother, CoachWall and BHS head baseball coach Randy Spring for the officialscholarship photo.

Perkins had been lifting weights with the baseball team in theadjoining weight room. He took time out to don a shirt for thephoto session. He searched and found a towel to absorb someperspiration. The group gathered behind Wall’s desk for the photoshoot.

It was a great day for Perkins and his family. Brookhaven HighSchool proudly claimed its first Division I football signee sincelinebacker Joe Wesley signed with LSU in 1995. Two years ago, BHSlinebacker Bobby Bell had signed with Division I-AA JacksonState.

Last year Panther defensive end Kelvin Redd signed with DivisionII Delta State University. Several Panthers have signed withCopiah-Lincoln Community College in recent years but Perkins wasthe first since Wesley to go “big time.”

Perkins was primarily recruited by Mississippi State, SouthernMiss, LSU and Tulane. A one-year star at quarterback, Perkins hadplayed wide receiver and tight end his sophomore and juniorseasons. His decision to join Tulane’s Green Wave surprised manyfolks.

Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing a muscular 225 pounds, Perkinspossesses 4.4 speed in the 40. He was an outstanding optionquarterback for one season, leading the Panthers to a 7-3 recordand a berth in the Class 4A state playoffs.

According to Perkins, Tulane provided all the right answers. Hehas an opportunity to play next fall as a true freshman. He’ll becatching passes in the Wave’s aerial show.

Perkins said the closeness of the campus to Brookhaven andTulane’s wide-open style of offense influenced his final decision.”They go with four to five wideouts on every down.”

Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo and his staff made a strongimpression on Perkins. “I just love Coach Scelfo. I really likeDavid Oliver who recruited me and Trooper Taylor,” Tulane’sreceivers coach.

Pat Ramsey quarterbacked Tulane to a 6-5 record this year.Ramsey is returning for his senior campaign.

“I think I surprised a lot of people when I chose Tulane,” saidPerkins. “It’s a load off my shoulders. I want to thank my mom anddad for supporting me with the decision I made. I also want tothank everybody who helped with information about the schools.”

Perkins has designs on a career in petroleum engineering. Hisfavorite subject in school is math. He also has the opportunity toplay baseball at Tulane.

Looking to the future, Perkins said he has an interest inplaying professional baseball. A fleet-footed outfielder with astrong bat, Perkins said he has attracted the attention of severalmajor league teams. Scouts from Colorado, Toronto, Pittsburgh andthe Chicago Cubs have watched him practice.

“I might get drafted in June,” said Perkins. “My dream would beto play professional baseball and college football.”

Certainly, the son of Frederick and Brenda Perkins has a brightfuture. His sister, Fredricka, is moving to New Orleans where sheplans to pursue a law degree.

“Fred will get a lot of opportunities early to catch thefootball,” predicted Wall. “He has a chance to get drafted by probaseball this summer, too.”

Upon his graduation from Tulane, Perkins will have many jobopportunities available in private business. The future looks greatfor this young gentleman.