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Jalen Perry’s road to Michigan, outlook for 2021

The young defensive back is up for a challenge this season

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 Michigan at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Daniel Plocher Dan Plocher contributes to Maize n’ Brew in several areas including podcasts, game previews/recaps, and various YouTube videos.

The Michigan Wolverines secondary struggled in Don Brown’s final season with the program. It seemed like every game there was an opposing receiver torching the Michigan defensive backs. Mike Macdonald hopes to turn that around.

One player who showed flashes last season was redshirt freshman Jalen Perry, who could be part of a position change in the fall. Let’s examine his career thus far and what is next for the former top 200 recruit.

The story so far

Perry had an interesting path to Michigan. As the No. 200 recruit in the country from Dacula Georgia, Perry was stolen right out of SEC country. Originally committed to Georgia, Perry had offers from Clemson, Florida State, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and more. The Wolverines joined the fold and after over a year of being committed to Georgia, Perry de-committed and chose Ann Arbor as his new home.

The young corner was valued for his athleticism and speed with a good frame for a 6-foot-1, long corner. He also lined up at wideout for Dacula high school immensely contributing to his ball skills and tracking in the air.

He did not receive any in-game action in his freshman season, earning a redshirt. In year two, he saw the third-most snaps at the corner position behind only Vincent Gray and Gemon Green. That isn’t saying too much, as he only saw 31 snaps in three games, and lined up at corner just twice in his redshirt sophomore season.

Outlook for 2021

Expectations were that Perry could potentially push Vincent Gray and take over as a starter at corner before spring. Gray struggled for much of the 2020 season and Michigan needs to find an answer at one of the most important positions on the defense. But Jim Harbaugh confirmed that a position change could be for the redshirt sophomore. Perry and George Johnson may be on their way to serve as depth at the safety position this season.

This may signify that DJ Turner is now above him at the corner spot and with a need at safety behind Dax Hill and Brad Hawkins, Perry could offer value in different packages but under a different role.

Perry has potential, he was highly touted coming out of high school, and now he is entering the stage where he should start to see more consistent playing time. He should get the opportunity to show what he’s got in different situations this season.