After releasing his top 10 schools over the summer, Pike Road (Ala.) High School four-star defensive lineman Khurtiss Perry was ready to further narrow down his recruitment this past weekend.
So, on Friday, the big-time class of 2022 prospect dropped his final five schools on social media. Clemson made the cut for its top defensive tackle target, while Alabama, Auburn, Texas and UCF cracked Perry’s short list as well.
“I felt like it was time for me to narrow it down to a five,” Perry told The Clemson Insider. “It’s been a while and a minute, so I felt like it was time for me to narrow it down.”
Perry, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound senior, received an offer from Clemson in September after defensive tackles coach Todd Bates traveled to watch Perry play in one of his games.
Bates has been recruiting Perry since he was a freshman, and the two have built what Perry described as a “real strong” bond.
“Coach Bates has always been recruiting me,” Perry said. “Coach Bates came to a game, came to my school. He’s just been a great guy. He’s always been on me, staying on top of me, making sure I’m doing the right thing, making sure I’m doing things to help me in my future.”
“I feel like he’s a great guy,” Perry added. “He’s from Alabama, so he relates on things, sees from my point of view.”
As for why the Tigers are one of the finalists in Perry’s recruitment?
“Clemson’s got a great D-line coach, they have a great defensive coordinator,” he said. “I feel like they’re just going through a tough day right now, but I feel like once they rebuild, Clemson’s going to be tough. They’ve always been a championship team. I feel like they’re just rebuilding right now, so I feel like they’re going to be OK.”
The next and last order of business for Perry in his recruiting process is making his commitment decision, something he said he intends to do sometime in December.
“It’s nothing else, just be ready for four to go down and one to go up,” he said when asked what’s next for him in his recruitment after releasing his top five.
Perry has unofficially visited Alabama and Auburn this season, while he plans to officially visit Auburn in November and Alabama and Texas in December. He is tentatively planning to unofficially visit Clemson for its game vs. Florida State on Oct. 30.
When the time comes for Perry to render his college choice, what will be the most important factors that determine where he continues his academic and athletic career at the next level?
“Just family, great bond, great coaches, great (defensive) schemes to make me put on the field the first year,” he said. “Also, great education, just great things that will make me better as a great man.”
Perry is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 7 defensive lineman and No. 31 overall prospect for the 2022 class. He transferred to Pike Road in August after previously attending Park Crossing High (Montgomery, Ala.), where he tallied 173 tackles, 58 tackles for loss and 15 sacks in 2020.
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