USC's Nick Perry primed for NFL

NFL reporter
Posted Feb 26, 2012
Aaron Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- USC junior defensive standout Nick Perry is in that classic hybrid mold. Is he an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme or a defensive end with his hand in the dirt in a 4-3 alignment? The NFL is eager to find out at the NFL scouting combine. The athletic 6-foot-2, 271-pounder prefers to play in a 4-3 defense, though.

"I can handle both," Perry said. "I prefer 4-3. I like to keep my hand in the dirt, but as long as I’m rushing and getting to quarterback. I’m fine whatever it is. I can improve." In a draft where there aren't many pass rushers, Perry could rise on draft boards and sneak into the first round potentially. Perry declared early for the draft after leading the Pac-12 Conference with 9 1/2 sacks last season.

He recorded 21 1/2 sacks in three seasons after choosing USC over a competing offer from Michigan.

Perry has bulked up to prepare for the NFL. "I feel good," he said. "I wouldn’t have it on if I couldn’t handle it." Perry declared early for the draft following his junior season for the Trojans. I’ve had a good four years at SC and I’m ready to take it to the next level," Perry said. "I’ve been prepared for that. I’ve been training for that. I’m looking forward to that." For more coverage of the NFL, go to

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