Soph. RB Chris Perkins with early interest

CARMEL, Ind. -- The summer before his freshman season, Carmel (Ind.) coach Kevin Wright gave Chris Perkins the option of trying out for varsity or remaining with his classmates and playing freshman football.

Perkins figured he would at least give varsity a shot.

"I ended up making varsity," Perkins said, "which I was actually kind of surprised about."

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound running back immediately became one of Indianapolis' top freshmen and was a major contributor to Carmel's state championship team.

Colleges took notice, too. Indiana, Iowa and Penn State have shown early interest, and Perkins will make a few visits to the Hoosiers this year. He will also visit Michigan State this coming weekend for the Spartans' game against Ohio State.

"The atmosphere, just want to see what it's like to see the players in action close up," Perkins said of what he is looking forward to see on his visits.

The atmosphere in East Lansing will be a little more hectic than his first home game, but Perkins probably won't be as nervous in Spartan Stadium as he was in his first high school game.

"I remember walking on the field and seeing all the fans and I was shaking," said Perkins, who has played running back since kindergarten. "I was taking punts and I was dropping all of them I was so nervous."

Perkins finished his freshman season with more than 400 yards on an average of just below 10 yards per carry.

As a sophomore, Perkins wants to lead the team in rushing and score double-digit touchdowns. So far, he's No. 2 in rushing and making his way toward his touchdown goal.

Perkins is a big Florida fan since the Tim Tebow era and hopes to catch the eye of the Gators. Florida is recruiting Perkins' teammate Austin Roberts, so the Gators will likely see Perkins sometime soon.