Junior College Standout QB Bryce Perkins Commits To Virginia, Plans January Enrollment

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Virginia football head coach Bronco Mendenhall has landed a new quarterback recruit, this time fulfilling his desire to have a dual-threat signal caller with college experience in the fold next season.

Bryce Perkins, a sophomore at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona, announced his commitment to the Cavaliers over Twitter. The 6’3”, 215-pound prospect subsequently confirmed to TheSabre.com that he will sign with UVA during the December 20-22 Early Signing Period and enroll on Grounds next month. Perkins also confirmed that he is all set with respect to gaining admission.

“Now that the season has ended I am ready to start a new chapter with a new team and a new family,” Perkins wrote in the tweet posted below. “I would like to thank Coach Beck and Coach Mendenhall along with the entire UVA coaching staff for the opportunity to be apart of their team. I am ready to be a Cavalier! #GoHoos”

Perkins, who will have at least two seasons of eligibility remaining at Virginia, began his collegiate career with Arizona State, the school he signed with out of Chandler High School (AZ). He redshirted as a true freshman in 2015 and a neck fracture kept him out for the entire 2016 campaign. In June of 2017, Perkins made official the decision to transfer to Arizona Western College.

The Matadors went 9-1 this season, the only loss coming in the NJCAA Championship game to East Mississippi. Perkins played well in the 31-28 defeat, passing for 139 yards with one touchdown and one interception and rushing 14 times for 104 yards and one touchdown. Perkins played in nine games total this season, completing 114 of 180 passes (63.3%) for 1,311 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed 69 times for 353 yards and four scores.

“This time last year, I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up,” Perkins said in this EDGE article posted on December 1. “I was injured. Just to get back is a great feeling. The success is also a great feeling.”

Virginia football extended a scholarship in early November of this year. Perkins reciprocated UVA’s interest, heading east for an official visit November 23-25.

“It was great,” Perkins said of his first ever experience in Charlottesville. “The city of Charlottesville is beautiful. It was a little different from the west coast with the weather, but it was great. The city, the people … I love how it’s a college town. I went and toured the facilities. The coaches were hospitable. The visit was great. Having gone through recruiting before, I can kind of see through some of the tactics used. I definitely think the coaches there are coaches I could see myself playing for.”

While on the trip, Perkins had in-depth conversations with senior Kurt Benkert as well as Mendenhall. Benkert, who came to UVA from East Carolina as a graduate transfer in the spring of 2016, has been the Cavaliers’ starting signal caller the majority of the past two seasons.

“[Benkert] was a good guy to ask about transferring,” Perkins said. “I asked him how it was transferring and getting acclimated to a whole new system. He said if I could enroll in the spring, it would be a big help. He didn’t get to do that.”

“[Mendenhall] expressed he’d like a more experienced guy so the offense will run more smoothly, and he’d like a junior college or grad transfer,” Perkins continued. “He’s trying to turn the program around quickly.”

The additions of Perkins and Shelby High School (OH) senior dual-threat quarterback Brennan Armstrong this January will effectively triple UVA’s projected scholarship depth chart for the 2018 season. First year Lindell Stone is the only sure-fire scholarship quarterback returning from this year’s team, though redshirt freshman scholarship athlete De’Vante Cross has received some quarterback snaps in preparation for the Military Bowl. Walk-on Matthew Merrick could be one to watch in terms of a scholarship as well.

Check out highlights of UVA’s newest quarterback pledge below, courtesy of Hudl. The highlights are of Perkins’ first six games of the 2017 season. Below that are several tweeted videos from the NJCAA Championship game, courtesy of NJCAA TV.

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