Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
When you play in a violent game like football, injuries are unavoidable. Some players are able to find their way clear of any major injuries, while others seem to have misfortune piled on them like a fumble recovery scrum. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Charles Perkins falls in the latter category, but his spirit and don’t-quit attitude have overcome his obstacles.
Perkins is a local talent from Georgia (Collins Hill HS), who was rated 4th on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Fab 50 list and listed as the 35th-best prospect in Georgia in 2009. He committed to Georgia Tech in his junior year of high school and remained so, even though schools from across the country came calling with offers. Redshirted during his 2010 freshman year, Perkins came on the scene at Georgia Tech in the 2011 season, where he won a spot as one of the backup B-backs.
His passion and love for the game–not to mention his talent–got him noticed by coach Paul Johnson, and Perkins not only got to carry and catch the ball out of the backfield that season, but he also saw time on special teams, where he had two kickoff returns for a total of 39 yards. and three special teams tackles
It was clear that Perkins was going to become an integral part of the Yellow Jackets offense, and that he could be developed into one of the team’s top rushers. His performance in 2011 and his work in the following fall practice session gained him the job of starting B-back for the 2012 season.
But after only two games in 2012, Perkins suffered a shoulder injury that put him out for the remainder of the season. It turns out that the injured shoulder was something that had Perkins had been dealing with since high school, and basically gutting it out. But after playing Virginia Tech in 2012, he knew that it was not going to get better.
“I played last year, and it was pretty messed up,” Perkins told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “We had to go in and fix it. It’s been messed up since high school, and it just got real bad after the Virginia Tech game (last season).”
So after surgery to repair the shoulder and six months of rehab, Perkins is back out on the field with the team. And that makes not only Perkins, but also his coach quite happy.
“Charles has a great attitude. He has fought back through some really tough injuries,” Johnson stated at his weekly press conference. “He could’ve felt sorry for himself and just kind of went through the motions. At one point, the medical staff said that they could DQ him medically and I talked to him and his parents to see if he wanted to do that. He would’ve stayed on scholarship, he would’ve had everything, but he was determined that he wanted to try to play. He didn’t want to look back twenty years from now and think about how he missed out on a chance.”
And it looks like in 2013, he’ll get that chance.
Perkins only has six carries for a total of 71 yards so far this season, but that includes a 31-yard touchdown scamper against Miami last week. He’s a load back that will get stronger as the game goes on and he gets more carries, and Georgia Tech can certainly use that kind of strength at the B-back position this year.
But it’s his positive attitude and great outlook on life that makes him one of Georgia Tech’s special players.
“That’s life,” said Perkins. “Everything’s not (always) going to go your way. It’s good I’ve got (the injury) fixed. I wish I could’ve gotten it done in the offesason and tried to play through it, but it didn’t work out. That’s life. I just roll with the punches.”