Will Illinois’ newest football team member make an impact and become the next transfer star? FCS All-American Roderick Perry is ready for that challenge in the next chapter of his career.
With all that is currently going on in the world right now, the transfer portal has become more prevalent than ever before. The Covid-19 virus has turned the sports world upside down and forcing a lot of changes. Changes such as season cancellations, schedule changes, opt-outs from players, and players transferring to have a better chance at playing and improving their draft stock. What I want to focus on in this series are player transfers. Whatever the reason, the transfer portal has become more important than ever. Let’s take a look at this week’s transfer star and what it means for his value and your fantasy teams.
After the MEAC announced it was postponing all fall athletics, South Carolina State and FCS All-American defensive tackle Roderick Perry announced that he’d be entering the transfer portal. Just a few days later he would choose Illinois over teams such as Florida, Duke, Virginia, and West Virginia. This is another good get for the Illini who have been attacking the transfer portal aggressively, in an effort to build up their roster. Perry has caught the attention of NFL scouts with his play and production. In eleven games last season, Perry recorded 34 tackles, 14½ tackles for a loss, and 4½ sacks. With that type of impact, it’s easy to see why Illinois wanted the transfer star. Perry is a grad transfer and will be eligible to play immediately.
Illinois lost three of it’s top four defensive tackles to graduation, including two starters, so there was a huge need for them at the position. Illinois has brought in two other transfers, in former California Bear Chinedu Udeogu and junior college transfer Anthony Shipton, neither of which are anything more than depth pieces. Although Perry is making a step up in competition, he should have no problem being a productive starter for Ilinois. Perry will be a huge upgrade and definite need for a defense that allowed just over 196 rush yards per game. Stopping the run, or in this case just being able to slow it down, is of high importance for the Illini and the transfer star Perry can help them do just that.
At 6’2” / 300 lbs, Perry is a compact defensive tackle, with the strength to play nose tackle, and is athletic and mobile enough to play the three-technique. Perry has a quick snap reaction and is consistently the first defender off the line of scrimmage. He is a high motor player, that was routinely double-teamed last year and did a great job of holding his ground. Perry is very fundamentally sound, especially when it comes to gap responsibilities. Coach Smith will love Perry in his single gap scheme. Perry can provide an interior pass rush while collapsing the pocket with some regularity. He’s a load in one on one matchups, where he does a good job of disengaging and attacking the ball. NFL scouts already have the transfer star Perry, on their radars.
Perry’s NFL future will have a lot riding on how he plays this year. Will the transfer star be able to continue to produce with the step-up in competition? He will be strongly tested, as he faces the big o-linemen of the Big Ten Conference, which has produced some high-graded NFL prospects in recent years. Scouts will be watching Perry closely this season, to see if he takes that next step as a player or regresses. A strong season in 2020 will only improve his value and give us a better idea of the type of player he can be going forward.
For those of us who play in IDP devy or Campus to Canton leagues, Perry is a great buy-low option with some potentially good upside return value. He’s not a player that you will own in every league, but if you play in those position specific leagues, he is a guy you will want to target. With him just having transferred to Illinois, he can likely be picked up off of waivers in your fantasy leagues. Perry won’t put up huge numbers, but will do a solid job and is worth a flyer. He would be a great bye week fill-in or a decent option in super-deep roster leagues.