Rivals250 running back Samaje Perine has been as busy this spring as he was in the fall.
After working his way back from an injury suffered at the end of his sophomore season to rush for more than 2,000 yards as a junior, Perine has hit the recruiting trail with the same intensity he attacked his rehab work and opposing defenses.
Offers have come from Alabama, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and TCU to name a few and interest from the likes of Florida State. It is still early in the process, but the 5-11, 230-pound back is focused on a top three.
"Right now I'm looking at mainly Oklahoma and TCU. Alabama has kind of a fallen off a little bit because of their numbers, but they're still at the No. 3 spot," Perine said.
"But mainly for me I've been hearing from Oklahoma and TCU the most. It seems like those two are the ones who want me and need me the most so I've kind of taken a look at them closer. I'm going to try and get up to Oklahoma this Tuesday for their spring practice."
The planned Tuesday visit to Norman will not be his first time on the Oklahoma campus and there are several aspects of the university that have already caught his attention.
"The thing about Oklahoma is it's a great school," Perine said. "I was talking with Coach Gundy. We keep in touch every couple of days now. It's just the opportunity I would have there because they're losing three running backs I think he said, so he said they would need to sign two in my class. So that opportunity would be great because I'm trying to play as a true freshman. That would a real, real cool experience."
On his visit to Norman, he hopes to get a first-hand look at what that experience might look like.
"I'm just really going up there to see how the coaches coach and how the players respond and see how they work because I was at TCU's spring practice and saw how they were working," Perine said. "They seemed pretty excited to be back out there so I'm hoping to get the same vibe from Oklahoma's practice."
His most recent visit was to TCU for junior day on March 2.
"TCU, their coaching staff, that's one of the best coaching staffs I've seen," Perine said. "They're a real close-knit group of guys and they have a great relationship with the players. Coach Patterson, he's a real nice dude. He's very open in what he thinks about me and what he thinks I can accomplish at TCU. Coach Anderson, he told me I would be used in their offense and I would be a big plus just because they don't have that big back, I guess."
Before that was a visit to Alabama.
"I liked the school from the beginning," Perine said. "I followed their football team for a few years now and I like what they do with their running backs and how they use them. When I went up there and got to see all the facilities, because when I went up for the Iron Bowl I didn't really get to look at much, but when I got to actually see everything up close it was a real great experience. Getting to talk to Coach Saban for a few minutes he had a lot of good things to say about me and that was real nice."
With his options narrowed down to a top three, Perine hopes to arrive at a decision in the next couple of months. All three present great opportunities, but as the standout running back prepares to decide, he has a few factors he has placed high on his list.
"I'm looking at the number of running backs they have and how many they're going to have once I get there," Perine said. "I'm looking at how their running backs produce and how they've produced in the past. All of those three schools have had great running backs go to the NFL and the main one right now is Adrian Peterson and he's doing great things with his career so that's a big plus for me."
Out of his top three of TCU, Oklahoma and Alabama, he places the Horned Frogs and Sooners at the top. Does either hold an edge at this point?
"I don't know if either one of them has an edge, but both of those schools have pluses and minuses and I'll have to take that into consideration," Perine said.
At this point he does not have any college visits planned following his trip to Oklahoma, but he will be in Houston for the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour on March 16.
"I'm just looking forward to competing with some of the other best guys in the country and putting myself out there even more than I already am," Perine said. "And getting better."
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