Sherando’s Perry signs to play football at University of Charleston

Michael Perry

Michael Perry had plenty of options for college, but after taking a visit to the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia, the Sherando senior knew it was the one and signed a letter of intent Wednesday morning to play football at the Division II school  next year.

“I visited there and it just felt like home,” Perry said in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “And the coaching staff was incredible to me. They really made me feel like I mattered. They have a great academic program and they have great football.”

Perry said he visited the school on Jan. 13 and verbally committed on Jan. 29. Perry said that it’s a “mostly full scholarship.” Perry said he will be receiving $30,000 next season of the $39,000 it costs for an academic year.  He said the coaches told him if he does well as a freshman he could get a full scholarship for the last three seasons.

Perry said that he also took visits to Fairmont State university and West Virginia Wesleyan. Perry said that Football Championship Subdivision schools the University of Richmond, William & Mary College and Virginia Military Institute had offered him preferred walk-on spots to their teams.

“I felt like Division II was the way to go with the scholarship they gave me,” Perry said.

Perry said that he was recruited as a linebacker and the coaches have told him they want him to learn all three linebacker positions.

This past season Perry had 82 tackles for Sherando at linebacker along with 6 sacks. He helped lead the Warriors to the Class 4 state semifinals.

Perry said that he’s glad the whole recruiting process is over with.

“It was crazy,” Perry said. “I had coaches calling my phone every day asking for visits. And it’s really hard to get in all those visits. You got to kind of pick and choose what colleges you want to visit to. And see which college has the best interest for you, as in major and athletic-wise and how you like the school. I thought Charleston was the perfect fit for me.”

Sherando coach Bill Hall said he was very happy for Perry and believes he will have a successful college career.

“He put a lot of hard work into developing himself and creating some opportunities, by not only what he did in his preparation for football but also with the way he approaches his academics with him being a strong student,” Hall said. “That coupled with his work ethic in the weight room, coupled with his production on the football field created a lot of good opportunities for him.”

Hall said that one of the things that sets Perry apart is his speed. Hall said that Perry has consistently been clocked at a 4.6 40-yard dash time, which is very good speed for his 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame.

Perry said that he has really improved his quickness due to working with Lloyd Phillips, a trainer in Winchester. Perry said that he plans to continue to work with Phillips during the offseason to get ready for college.

The Golden Eagles play in the Mountain East Conference. They finished 4-6 last season and are coached by Pat Kirkland.

Perry said that Kirkland told him that he expects Perry to see some playing time next season.

Perry said that his goal is to play as much as he can his freshman year and hopefully start his sophomore season.

Perry said that he has watched videos of the Golden Eagles and liked what he saw defensively.

“They run a 3-3-5 defense, I think I fit in pretty well in that defense,” Perry said. “They like to play aggressive and bring a lot of pressure. And that’s what I like.”

Perry said that he’s very excited about playing at the college level and it’s an opportunity he’s wanted for a long time.

“It’s a great feeling,” Perry said. “I’ve always dreamed about this since I was a kid. It’s just a dream come true to play college football and make my parents happy. And repay them for all the training and stuff they’ve done for me paying for training sessions and things like that.”