LSU freshman Harold Perkins Jr. is only 18 years old but might be the best defensive player in college football. His age not only makes his play extremely impressive, it also made Brian Kelly feel very old on Saturday.
Perkins, a five-star recruit out of Cypress, Texas, was originally committed to Texas A&M but backed out in January. He took an official visit to Baton Rouge four days after de-committing from the Aggies’ No. 1-ranked class and committed to the Tigers five days after that.
Kelly is surely glad that Perkins flipped because the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker has played a massive role in back-to-back wins of three points or fewer over Alabama and Arkansas. He kept Bryce Young contained as the ‘spy’ last weekend and suffocated the Razorbacks this weekend.
Perkins recorded eight tackles, six solo, with two forced fumbles in Saturday’s win over the Hogs. His four sacks also tied the LSU single-game record.
Wherever the Arkansas offense went, Perkins followed.
To make his performance even more impressive, Kelly revealed that his freshman phenom was violently ill before the game. He also said that Perkins did not get his reference about Michael Jordan’s famous flu game.
“He got sick before the game (and) threw up as he was going into our team meeting,” the first-year Tigers head coach said during his postgame presser. “And I said, ‘Hey, MJ threw up when he had his greatest game,’ and he said, ‘Who’s M.J.?’ I was like, ‘Man, I am getting so old.'”
So, to reiterate, Harold Perkins all-but singlehandedly won LSU’s pivotal game against Arkansas while dealing with the flu. If that wasn’t amazing enough, he is so young that he didn’t know about one of the most iconic moments of the 1990s.
Apologies in advance to the rest of the SEC, which has to deal with Perkins for two more years. At least.