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Dacula (Ga.) High four-star cornerback Jalen Perry is officially part of the Michigan football program.
• Accumulated 28 tackles, three picks (including a pick-six) and 12 pass breakups as a senior in 2018. He also carried 42 times for 332 yards (7.9 per touch), and had 26 catches for 297 yards (11.4 average), with a total of five touchdowns.
• Racked up 41 tackles and three picks on defense as a junior in 2017, a 22.5-yard average on 10 kick returns and an 8.9-yard average on eight punts brought back. He also rushed 43 times for 647 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 14.8 yards per carry, and caught 22 passes for 437 yards and four touchdowns, good for a 19.9 average.
• Registered 40 tackles and five picks as a sophomore in 2017, and six yards on one punt return. He rushed 16 times for 174 yards and a touchdown, while catching six balls for 65 yards on a 10.8-yard average.
• Tabbed as the Athlete of the Year by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Dec. 5, 2018, in Georgia’s 8-AAAAAA.
• First-team Gwinnett Daily Post All-County in 2017 as a junior.
• Named Defensive Back of the Year by the Gwinnett Touchdown Club following the 2017 season.
• Class 6A first-team All-State offense as an athlete by the Georgia Sports Writers Association in Dec. of 2017.
• All-State class 6A honorable mention by the Georgia Sports Writers Association in Dec. of 2016.
• Committed to Georgia in Oct. 2017, but decommitted from the Bulldogs on Oct. 4, 2018, and pledged to Michigan — over South Carolina and Florida — on Nov. 19, 2018, following a visit for the Indiana game.
• He also visited U-M for the Nov. 3 win over Penn State two weeks prior to committing.
• Head coach Jim Harbaugh, cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich and safeties coach Chris Partridge headlined Perry’s recruitment.
• He told Harbaugh he was coming to Michigan while the two were having dinner, after a big bite of “Michigan pancakes,” to which Harbaugh stood up and celebrated.
Did You Know?
• Helped lead Dacula to an 11-3 record in 2018 and the fourth round of the 6A Georgia state playoffs.
• His mom played college basketball at Auburn University at Montgomery, while his father played tennis at Truett McConnell College in Georgia.
• He is cousins with former NFL wide receiver Tavarres King, who attended Georgia before spending time with six different NFL squads.
• Played football, basketball and baseball growing up, and was actually the best at baseball and thought he had a future in it professionally. His focus shifted over to football in middle school, however, and he admitted that playing all three sports helped him become more versatile and athletic.
• His grandparents used to take him swimming and fishing when he was young, and he has had an admiration for the outdoors ever since. His biggest catch was a 20-pound catfish.
They Said It
Rivals.com Georgia analyst Chad Simmons: “Jalen is a very versatile defensive back. He can play anywhere across the board from being a big corner, to safety, to nickel. He has very good ball skills and is quite athletic. He has good size and really does everything well. I think he’ll play early at Michigan if necessary.”
Dacula (Ga.) High head coach Clint Jenkins: “Jalen is a great kid. I have told coaches all throughout the recruiting process that he is a no-risk type of kid. He checks all the boxes — great character, great student, great player and great family. I am very excited for him and his opportunity at Michigan, and have no doubt he will have a great career in Ann Arbor.”
Stalwart cornerbacks David Long and Lavert Hill will both be seniors if they choose to return in 2019, and sophomore Ambry Thomas and redshirt freshman Benjamin St-Juste are expected to be right behind them on the depth chart. Freshmen Myles Sims and Gemon Green also reside at cornerback.
However it shakes out, Perry will have a lot of players who have at least one year of experience on him already on the roster when he gets to Ann Arbor. He and fellow 2019 cornerback signee D.J. Turner will both provide some new depth at the position and could push to see the field as youngsters.
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