Roderick Perry only had one offer coming out of Cary, North Carolina in 2016. Four years later he’s headed to the Big 10.
The former South Carolina State University defensive lineman is transferring to the University of Illinois.
The MEAC suspended fall sports in mid-July, with hopes of playing in the spring. Perry told the Raleigh News And Observer that his coach, Buddy Pough, told him it would be in his best interest to open his options.
“Even though they say they suspended the season, I was still hopeful that maybe it would be back up and running, but my coach called me,” Perry said. “He gave me the nitty gritty.”
Perry is an FCS All-American and cited as a prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft. He said that the possibility of spring ball didn’t make sense for him. Apparently, he’s not alone. North Carolina A&T star tackle Dontae Keys is in the transfer portal. FAMU’s Calvin Ashley has decided to skip spring football and prepare for the NFL Draft.
Perry chose Illinois over Virginia and Florida. He will be eligible to play immediately as a grad transfer.
“At the end of the day, you know, the most love I felt came from the University of Illinois, as far as what they did for me and, you know, what they showed me as far as how much they need me and how much they want me,” Perry said.
Illinois is coached by former Chicago Bears head coach Luvie Smith. Roderick Perry recorded 14.5 tackles and 4.5 sacks for loss during the 2019 season for SC State. South Carolina State finished second in scoring defense (19.4 points per game) and run defense (112 ypg) in the MEAC last year.