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February 6, 2008Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King defensive end Nick Perry found a home away from home when he officially visited USC in January.
While playing in front of his friends and family became an important factor in his recruitment, fitting in at his new college was the highest priority. Wednesday morning. Perry announced that he felt most comfortable in Cardinal and Gold.
Inside the King High School Library, Perry raised the Trojan colors to his head and announced he would be spending the next four years of his life in Southern California.
"I had a lot of good options, but I picked the one that was best for me and that is USC," said Perry. "They have so many good players, and I want to be a part of that."
Selecting USC over Miami and Michigan, Perry became the Trojans' feature signee in an impressive defensive line class, which includes four other four-star recruits.
Ranked the No. 56 best player in the country by Rivals.com, Perry was recruited by USC coach Brennan Carroll as a weakside defensive end. After officially visiting USC with his brother Rod, Perry was convinced that USC was a perfect fit for college despite its distance from home.
"I just felt comfortable at USC," said Perry. "When I went out there on my trip, it seemed like everyone was family. The coach and players all got along, and they welcomed me like I was one of their own. That was a big deal."
Perry becomes commitment No. 18 for the Trojans, adding to the standing success USC has had recruiting Michigan. Last year, the Trojans plucked five-star wide receiver Ronald Johnson away from the Big Ten.
Ironically, Johnson's old high school, Muskegon, will play King in the 2008 Michigan high school football season opener.
"It's crazy to think that you'll have Muskegon and MLK playing against each other next season, while the two best players from those Michigan schools will be playing with each other at USC," said King assistant coach Curtis Blackwell.
In November, USC defensive line coach David Watson headed to Detroit to watch Perry play in person.
"He said, 'Curtis, Nick is the best defensive lineman I've seen this year - period'," said Blackwell. "To me, that's says a lot.
"USC came all the way out here on their off week to watch this kid play. They're not holding anything back. Nick is their No. 1 LEO defensive end."
As a senior, Perry recorded - a state record - 36 sacks to go with 114 tackles in 2007. An All-PSL, All-State and All-Free Press First Team selection, he garnered his first scholarship offer after running a 4.51 electronically timed 40-yard dash at the U.S. Army National Junior Combine a year ago.
USCFootball.com will have more on Nick Perry's commitment to the Trojans later.