Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson running back Samaje Perine established himself as one of the top 2014 prospects in Texas showing a rare combination of speed and power. Then, in the final seconds of the 2011 season as Perine eclipsed 1400 yards, he tore his ACL and MCL and stretched his LCL.
It has been a hard spring and summer as Perine rehabbed and watched his teammates prepare for the 2012 season. All the hard work paid off though and he was able to return for the start of the season.
"It feels good, really good. It recovers really quick. It's going really well," Perine said. "I feel about 95 (percent) right now, but this past game all the coaches were talking about how I looked great and back to my old self again."
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Not only is he back, but the injury also helped him learn some valuable lessons.
"It made me respect the game a lot more and the players before me who had the same injury and came back strong," Perine said. "It made me more humble."
One thing it has not done is slowed him down. Perine has already rushed for 452 yards and 2 TDs on 50 carries. The injury also has not kept college coaches away, and now that he is back the interest is only increasing.
"Mostly the same schools have been ramping it up," Perine said. "Alabama they're picking it up. Oregon they're picking it up. Baylor, I've been keeping in close contact with coach (Jeff) Lebby down there. It's going really well. Almost every school has been sending me at least one letter or piece of information a week and it seems to be picking up every week."
Purdue is his first offer, but he has not heard much from the Boilermakers lately. However, the communication he recently had with Alabama certainly caught his attention.
"Nick Saban actually sent me a letter talking about how they couldn't officially offer me until 2013 but he said they would keep in close contact until then," Perine said. "It was kind of mind blowing. I wasn't expecting that right now but the fact it came so early in the season it was pretty cool."
Alabama's interest has them high on Perine's early list with two other programs.
"The top three right now are Baylor, Oregon, and Alabama," Perine said. "Just their records and how they've done in the past and seeing how they're doing this year. Seeing how their recruiting classes are developing and getting better and better as the years go. They know what they're doing so it's pretty cool to see that."
The standout running back does is focused on the 2012 season and does not have any visits scheduled right now; however, he was able to make one early season visit.
"I went to the Baylor game when they played SMU," Perine said. "It's the only one I've been to so far. It was fun. I liked the atmosphere and all the people were nice. It seems like they have a pretty good squad."