Top Illinois recruiting target Ronnie Perkins had a huge weekend.
The 3-star defensive end from St. Louis (MO) Lutheran North took home defensive line MVP at Nike's 'The Opening' regionals in Chicagoland.
Perkins then got word that he was selected to play in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. OrangeandBlueNews.com spoke to Perkins to get his take.
Strongside defensive end
Perkins wll play in the Opening Finals this summer. The Army All-American Bowl is held each January at the Alamodome in San Antonio (Texas).
"I've been watching those two events since I've been playing football," Perkins said. "I'm definitely grateful. It's huge. I can't wait to participate in both events."
Perkins said scouts at the event loved his tenacity and how he battled against some of the top offensive linemen in the Midwest.
"They liked my competitiveness and how I stepped up against other big time guys and dominated," Perkins said. "I had the mindset to dominate whoever was in front of me."
The Opening Finals will be for the top 166 high school prospects and take place in late June or early July at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
On the recruiting trail, Perkins holds over 30 offers, his latest coming from Louisville.
"I plan on doing some visits in the summer, but I don't know what schools yet," Perkins said. "I'll name my top schools sometime before I start my senior season.'
Illinois has been very active recruiting in the St. Louis area, with running backs coach Thad Ward leading the efforts.
Perkins has been on campus in Champaign several times, and he is regular contact with the Illini staff.
"I talk to Coach Ward daily," he said. "Every Thursday we have a weekly phone call. We have conversations about everything; his family, my family. Sometimes we just leave football alone and talk about life."
Though Perkins has a long list of top offers, Illinois should be a player in his recruitment down to the wire.
"I have a real strong relationship with them, so they definitely have a good chance in my recruitment," Perkins said.
Perkins plans to take all five of his official visits this fall before making his final college decision.