Q & A with Morris football player Jeff Perry
Morris linebacker Jeff Perry does not play small by any means. Perry stands 6-3 and weighs 220-pounds while suiting up for the Redskins. Yet, as a three-year varsity starter, he has been called a "tweener" on defense and a "hybrid" as a running back on offense.
Perry will be heading to Central Michigan to play football next fall on a full-ride scholarship after playing out his days with the Redskins. He recently took some time out of his busy schedule to engage the MDH in this week's question and answer session.
Q. You seem to be quite comfortable as a tweener back — part safety and part linebacker. How would you describe the position you play and what are your main assignments week in and week out?
A. My position ranges from interior linebacker, to end, to somewhat of a corner depending on the team we are playing and our defensive set. I just play whatever is needed of me whether it is stopping the run on the inside or playing man defense on the outside.
Q. Offensively you also seem comfortable to be a "hybrid" back that is part force and part finesse. How do you see your role in the T-formation?
A. In T I see myself as primarily a lead blocker but also someone that has to run inside and outside of the tackles. If its inside I am more of a hard runner but I get to use my speed on the outside.
Q. Which position in the game do you like playing the most and which do you think you are best at?
A. I like playing linebacker the most because that is where most of the action is. I think linebacker is also my best position.
Q. When did you start playing these various positions in the past?
A. I have played a bunch of different positions all my life. I started as a lineman and have worked my way up to what I am now. Eighth grade was the first year I started playing running back and linebacker and last year was when I played safety.
Q. You played for the Warriors. How much did the coaches there help your football foundation in your development?
A. During my years as a Warrior I learned a lot of fundamentals of the game. They do a great job of making sure the kids are fundamentally sound.
Q. When did you start playing for the Warriors?
A. My first year as a warrior was in the fourth grade as a lightweight.
Q. What are your earliest memories there?
A. Some of my earliest memories include a few years blocking on the line, and then, when I became tight end in the sixth grade, we made it to the Supe Bowl, which was a great experience.
Q. Back to the present. What has been the biggest keys to Morris success this year?
A. Our biggest keys to success this year have been running the ball, executing the coaches game plan and being very physical on both sides of the ball. That's how we play our game.
Q. What is Coach (Alan) Thorson like behind the scenes?
A. He is always thinking football at all times of the day, and once practice comes, he pushes us really hard to be the best we can be.
Q. To make this season a success, what has to happen from here?
A. We have to keep playing our game and doing what we've been doing. Both sides of the ball have been very successful during the playoffs and we can't let up at all.
Q. Finally, if you were to give some advice to a young kid in Morris who wanted to play football for the Morris Redskins, what kind of advice would you give them?
A. My advice would be to join the Warriors because they will not only learn a lot about the game and Morris tradition but it is also a great time. After that they just need to stick with it.