ESPN 150 offensive tackle Kent Perkins (Dallas/Lake Highlands) values relationships.
The bond he has built with fellow 2013 signees and the Texas coaching staff cemented his feelings of wanting to become a Longhorn when he committed to them 16 months ago.
Perkins (6-foot-5, 310 pounds) is anxious to continue to build those relationships in Austin, where he’ll arrive and enroll in school on June 10. But more so than anything he wants to be entrenched in the game he’s grown so fond of… and is also so dominant in.
HornsNation caught up with the No. 76 player overall before Perkins enrolled at Texas and before summer workouts began to get his feelings on becoming a Longhorn and where exactly he sees himself playing when football activities start.
HornsNation: Where is your excitement level right now about getting down to Austin?
Kent Perkins: It’s skyrocketed. I am so excited to go down there. I am ready to compete. I am excited about everything. I’m excited about football, the next step in my life.
HN: Take me back to the day that you knew you wanted to become a Longhorn. What was it about Texas?
Perkins: Well I was down to A&M, Texas and OU. I visited all those schools and talked to every coach. I just felt I could see myself at Texas. I enjoy being around the guys, Mack Brown, Coach [Stacy] Searels. I love Coach Searels. I saw how he is in his meetings and how he talks to his players and how he coaches. I want to be a part of that.
HN: What is it about Coach Searels that you like so much and how important is it to have a good relationship with your position coach?
Perkins: It’s real important to me because he reminds me so much of my high school coach. He can joke around at times and then when it is time to get serious he can be serious. If you listen to every detail he says you are going to get better.
HN: You spent your high school career on the right side of the line. Where do you think you’ll end up at Texas?
Perkins: Right now I know, speaking with Coach Searels, that he is going to play his top five linemen. Basically if you are good you are going to play anywhere on the line. You have to be ready to come in and work. I’m really thinking the left side because I know [Donald] Hawkins is fixing to leave so I am thinking the left side.
HN: Is the footwork for a right tackle going to the left side that big of a deal or not?
Perkins: It’s a huge deal because you change your side, your hand placement, which foot you step with first, which foot you kick with. You kick with your left foot instead of your right. It’s a big change but I am a hard worker and I can get that down.
HN: There’s been a lot of hype around the class of offensive linemen coming in. Do you guys talk about that at all?
Perkins: I talk with Rami [Hammad] and he talks to Darius James and others. We all talk about having one of the best offensive lines in the country. We are going to work as hard as we can, put the work in the weight room and conditioning and get our jobs done right.
HN: Do you honestly believe that this group of offensive linemen coming in can be one of the best to ever come through Texas?
Perkins: I really, truly believe that. We have size, speed and smart guys. We can get down the plays and can be aggressive.
HN: What have you been doing to keep yourself in shape since signing day?
Perkins: I have a conditioning program that I’ve been keeping up with. I’m lifting and running in the morning and the afternoon. I’m trying to keep my grades up at the same time.
HN: What are you weight-wise and what does Searels want you to come in at?
Perkins: I’m at 310 pounds and he wants me at 300.
HN: What are you most excited about as you begin your career as a Longhorn?
Perkins: I’m excited about, dang, football. I love playing football. I’m excited about being around a group of older guys that will teach me the game. Being in front of thousands of people in a huge stadium. I’m excited about the next step.
HN: Was there ever a time after you committed to Texas that you thought about looking around anywhere else?
Perkins: Nope, I never thought about that. I think I made a really good choice. I look at academics first and I think I made a really good choice.