Davis Perrott has always been a big body, but that doesn’t mean he was somebody in the eyes of college recruiters.
He entered the offseason of his junior year, the most important time during the recruiting process, with very little game tape and name recognition.
And yet the Mountain Pointe senior offensive lineman beat the odds and was one of the area football players signing with a program from one of the five power conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision during Wednesday’s national signing day.
Perrott’s path to Division I college football, he signed with Washington State, is unlikely as it gets these day.
"It's been a quick journey," Perrott said. "Having played just one year I think I have a high ceiling. It's a big relief because I've seen others struggle. It's always what I have envisioned doing and I blessed to have this chance."
Perrott's brother, Will, didn't have many looks after graduating from Brophy and ended up walking-on at Duke where played a total of 18 plays from 2011-14.
Davis appeared to be heading down that road after barely seeing the field as a junior at Mountain Pointe.
"I was frustrated and that's what motivated me to get better," he said. "I knew it my best path to college."
Nearly no one goes from unheard of to a heralded recruit based on their senior year anymore because of the recruiting websites available and combines that have popped up.
High school athletes these days with the help of social media, camps and combines essentially have the ability to brand themselves.
Perrott did all of the work on the field starting in May during spring ball when recruiters coming to Mountain Pointe campus looking at already established recruits wanted to know what the 6-foot-5, 274-pounder on the offensive line was all about.
Then Perrott, who was listed at 6-4 and 250 as a junior, went out and performed at a high level for one of the state’s top offensive lines.
“It’s very rare,” recruiting specialist Jason Jewell said. “In today’s recruiting, most kids are evaluated on junior tape. Getting the attention he did is hard. Shows how good of a player he is. He has a tremendous ceiling.”
The momentum began when he switched from defensive end, where he played as a junior but had trouble getting on the field behind then-seniors Mitchell Fraboni and Charlie Trevino, to offensive line.
“Between his freshman and sophomore year I recommended he move to o-line,” Pride offensive line coach Aaron Frana said. “He wasn’t quite ready for the move, he wanted to concentrate on tight end then. His junior year he then played line and got limited reps.
“Finally, we convinced him to play o-line the second semester of his junior year. You can’t teach 6-5, 275. You could see on tape how much better he got every game. His potential is crazy.”
The East Valley is filled with more traditional stories leading up to signing day.
Corona del Sol defensive end Cassius Peat is the third of three brothers whose father, Todd, played in the NFL. Even though Cassius’ rise to coveted prospect it doesn’t make it any less special when he is expected to sign with UCLA, whom he gave a soft verbal to recently, on Wednesday.
The same with Chandler quarterback Bryce Perkins (Arizona State), Mountain Pointe running back Paul Lucas (ASU), Gilbert offensive lineman Steve Miller (ASU), Campo Verde defensive tackle Finton Connolly (Arizona), Hamilton defensive end Caleb Peart (Vanderbilt), Mountain Pointe offensive tackle Nick Carman (Utah), or Chandler wide receiver Justin Jan (Colorado).
There is an even longer list of area football players who will sign on Wednesday with programs that won’t be featured on national television but still play on Saturdays on a field that is 100 yards long and with a college education.
Tempe quarterback Emanuel Gant (Prairie View), Mountain Pointe defensive lineman Austin Pogue (Arizona Christian), and so many others will get a chance to play at the level.
Others are signing with local junior colleges with hopes of performing well and parlaying it into an offer from a four-year school when the two years are over at the JUCO level.
Desert Vista’s T.J. Roberts was named to Arizona’s All-State team by the coaches association, but is settling for Mesa Community College mainly because of size (5-9, 177) rather than production (1,815 total yards, 19 touchdowns).
“It’s not really frustrating it’s more stressful if anything,” Roberts said. “You want to make the right decision for you education and football career.”
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