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February 27, 2012Prior to Monday, the Texas Longhorns had turned in one of the country's strongest recruiting efforts in the early parts of the 2013 recruiting race, securing commitments from nine prospects who are considered among the cream of the crop in the Lone Star State.
On Monday, UT's commitment haul climbed to 10, and the latest pledge comes from yet another big fish who makes a splash on a national scale.
Dallas Lake Highlands offensive tackle Kent Perkins, a Rivals100 member, called Texas coaches Stacy Searels and Darrell Wyatt on Monday afternoon to add his name to the Texas commitment list.
"He's a Longhorn," said Lake Highlands head coach Scott Smith.
The 6-5, 300-pound Perkins ranks No. 25 on the Rivals100 and he adds yet another elite name to a Texas recruiting class that features six players from the prestigious list.
"He's a big kid, moves his feet well and he's really athletic," said Brian Perroni, national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. "He's great in pass protection and he shows some aggression in the run game.
"He's the consensus top lineman in the state. He's the type of player that can cause some momentum, the same thing a guy like Tyrone Swoopes did when he committed."
Perkins was one of the Longhorns' top targets from day one. He was invited to UT's first junior day on February 12 but was unable to attend due to a last-minute change of plans. Instead, he made his way to Austin last weekend for the Longhorns' second junior day of the recruiting season.
Perkins picked up an offer while in Austin, and though he did not comment publicly, there was talk from those close to him, including coach Smith, that Texas made a very strong impression. An early-week commitment was believed to be a possibility, and Perkins made things official on Monday afternoon.
"He studied the different options he's had. He's had a few different things come in front of him," coach Smith said. "So he's been really thoughtful about that and really spent some time talking to his mom and grandmother and people who are important to him, and got some insight from them.
"I'm really proud of the way he went about making the decision. I think it's not just a good decision, but I think it's the best one for Kent Perkins based on knowing he's gone down the path of what's the best place for me. I'm really proud of the way he's gone through this process."
Ranked No. 3 on the Lone Star Recruiting Top 100, Perkins was holding offers from the likes of Baylor, Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M at the time of his decision. A combination of factors, including the overall feel Perkins picked up this weekend, led him to the decision.
"I don't know if it was one thing in particular," Smith said. "He said he wanted the opportunity this weekend to spend time with the coaches and get to meet and know coach (Mack) Brown, know coach Searels more and know the other coaches more. Then, look at all the other things they offer - academics are very important for him and he wants to have a place that he's going to have a chance to succeed in the classroom as well. He put all that stuff together and just the atmosphere and the practice, I think it sold him."
Perkins joins fellow UT commitments Tyrone Swoopes (No. 11), Ricky Seals-Jones (No. 13), Jake Raulerson (No. 51), Jake Oliver (No. 61) and A'Shawn Robinson (No. 69) as Rivals100 members.
Kent Perkins scouting report from Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell: Huge kid with amazing upside, carries his weight very well and is super athletic for a 300-pounder. Has excellent feet and covers a lot of ground quickly when he keeps them moving. Aggressive punch off the snap and is a physical player. Needs to be more consistent with his pad level, but I like his nastiness, his willingness to play to the whistle and the fact that he's still learning. He's either a right tackle or a guard at the next level and I think most likely he ends up inside. But with his pass protection skills it would not be a surprise to see him stay outside at tackle. Another huge in-state get for Texas and they are killing it early.