Heading into National Signing Day, five-star linebacker Harold Perkins was the highest-ranked unsigned prospect in the 2022 recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite. He announced his college decision live on CBS Sports HQ during signing day coverage, choosing LSU over Texas A&M and Florida.
Perkins ranks as the No. 8 overall prospect in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite, and the analysts at 247Sports consider him the No. 1 linebacker in the country and No. 1 player coming out of Texas. The Cypress, Texas, native initially announced his commitment to Texas A&M at the Under Armour All-America Game in early January, but decided to reopen his recruitment and took official visits to both Florida and LSU in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day.
Seeing a player of Perkins’ caliber sign elsewhere in the SEC West is a recruiting loss for Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M. But this defeat on the trail doesn’t sting as much on the day when the Aggies secured the No. 1 class in the country and the highest-rated class of all time.
247Sports recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks says Perkins projects as a multiple-year, high-impact starter at the college level and potential NFL Draft pick. Brooks compared Perkins to Myles Jack, noting that he “legitimately could be a high-major running back prospect in addition to elite linebacker recruit.”
Athleticism jumps off the screen. Flashes home run-hitting speed as a ball carrier that translates to broad pursuit range on defense. Displays consistent back-side chase-down athleticism. Fluidity shows in running back touches and in redirecting ability on defense. Often plays from the edge but also plays off the ball. Lines up at receiver, running back, and wingback for a wing-T offense. Easy athleticism that makes tough plays look less challenging than they really are. Size will dictate an off-ball role in college, but flashes impressive dip and pass-rush feel off the edge. Generally a sure tackler who can provide the big hit. Honing coverage technique will enhance positional and situational flexibility as a defender. Gets over-aggressive at times and can run himself out of position. Good play strength relative to size but will still need added mass and strength as he progresses to the next level. Size and average length could become an issue against big, athletic tight ends at the next level. Nevertheless, among the top prospects in Texas for his class and one of the top linebackers nationally.
This is a massive win for new LSU coach Brian Kelly, who has won at the highest level on the field but is in his first cycle of these SEC vs. SEC recruiting wars. Kelly and his LSU staff have worked the transfer portal to rebuild the roster for 2022, but getting players like Perkins out of high school are the kind of recruiting wins that set you up for long-term success.