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Jordan Perkins, Northwestern Wildcats, No. 25

Jordan Perkins was once a great get on the recruiting front, a former Stanford commit. Now, he's a backup cornerback. Can he get into NU's defensive back rotation?



Boy, you guys sure do like stupid internet videos! We don't have any more of those today, but we will have plenty more of them at various points in the future, so don't sleep. We will, on the other hand, write about other stuff today!

But until then, let's celebrate 25 days until football with Jordan Perkins.

Origin myth

Perk comes from Lodi, Calif, because nothing says hard-hitting football like wine country, y'all! He had an insanely productive high school career, earning all-state honors as a sophomore and a junior before missing half his senior year with a broken clavicle -- and still rushing for over 1,000 yards with 10 touchdowns, busting out a pair of 200-yard games in the playoffs has his team made state semifinals. He ended up with 3,738 yards rushing in three years, averaging eight yards a carry. As you can see in his (grainy) high school video, he was kind of a boy amongst men, even in a very competitive top-tier league in California:

That earned him three stars and a few decent rankings, ending up as the No. 56 RB in the country per 247's composite.

But where it gets interesting is his recruiting story. Perkins had an offer from Stanford -- a school that's been known to have its fair share of solid running backs, with Toby Gerhart and Stepfan Taylor now in the league -- and committed to the Cardinal before his senior year. But Jim Harbaugh left for the NFL, and Perkins got the sense things weren't going right with his commitment: The school wouldn't confirm his admission even as he remained in the fold and signing day grew closer. So he got back in touch with NU running backs coach Matt MacPherson and took an official visit to NU, and committed while in Evanston. Oddly enough, it's almost the exact same story Kain Colter had to tell, albeit a year later. Stanford, a tad skeezy, and it ended up giving Northwestern two recruits.

At Northwestern

Perkins redshirted as a freshman while Mike Trumpy struggled with injury, Jacob Schmidt started a bunch of games, and Treyvon Green -- a less highly touted recruit, only getting two stars -- saw game time right off the bat. As a redshirt frosh, he was way down the RB depth chart with the arrival of Venric Mark and a healthy Trumpy, only seeing action as a running back once while contributing on special teams. In the middle of last year, he was switched to defensive back.

Career highlight

For now, we'll go with his only ever appearance at running back: three rushes for seven yards against South Dakota.

Anagram of choice

Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spelling

Jordan Perkins, anagrammed, is


Good advice. People who are jerks cannot help that they are jerks, therefore we must forgive them for their behavior. In Jordan's case, he shouldn't get too mad about people hating on his switch out of running back, for people who write mean things on message boards are jerks. (Also considered: "Dark poser Jinn," which is actually an ALARMINGLY accurate description of Asian-American rapper MC Jin, "Drink Jar opens," which is YES WE GET TO DRINK OUT OF MASON JARS, "ninjas per dork," which is a ratio for determining how many Japanese killing specialists are in a room for every nerd, "join park nerds," which is an ad campaign for birdwatching tours, and "Dirk's jean porn," which is a fashion magazine made by Dirk Nowitzki focusing on denim products.)

Relevant musical selection

"Lodi Dodi," Slick Rick

New York likes to party. I still can't believe the Ruler talked like that/was a famous rapper rapping about bubble baths. Although talking about clothing/gold everything/THE EYE PATCH would work today. And if like me, you're a fan of hip-hop who was casually exposed to modern hip-hop before listening to the classics, it's FASCINATING to listen to a song like this that's been sampled/interpolated/copied a trillion times. Like with most art forms, rap wasn't great, but it was so important for how it influenced things.

How can he help

Perkins is clearly a strong athlete as evidenced by his high school days and interest from Stanford. The questions are whether he can make a solid transition to cornerback, and whether it even matters at a position where Northwestern's grasping for depth.

NU converted a running back to DB a few years ago with Jeravin Matthews, and it went pretty poorly. Matthews was almost the exact same build as Perkins -- an inch shorter, same weight -- and although we've never seen Perkins play on field, we can judge from his HS video that he's damn quick, like Matthews was.

But although Matthews never seemed perfectly adjusted to his position, he earned a starting gig as a senior, because of his athletic talent and a real weakness opposite Jordan Mabin. Nick VanHoose has one cornerback spot locked down for the next three years, which is as long as Perkins will be eligible at NU. But there's no reason to believe Perkins can't be one of the contenders at the other spot, which is currently up for grabs between Daniel Jones, Jarrell Williams, Dwight White, and others. He's got the natural athletic ability, but feel at a position like CB is hard, and hasn't been easy to come by for Northwestern. It is a tad disconcerting he doesn't seem to have played the position in high school, but perhaps with time.

Depth chart projection

We don't have dude making it yet -- but I see potential as he gets more comfortable with his position.

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