Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, and J.K. Dobbins are among the top running back prospects in this year’s NFL Draft, but Florida’s Lamical Perine is among the most versatile. Last season, he rushed for 676 yards, caught 40 passes for 262 yards and scored 11 touchdowns (six rushing, five receiving).
“I feel like a lot of guys can’t do what I do,” Perine said on The DA Show. “I can line up out wide as a receiver. You can put me in the slot. You can hand me the ball. You can throw me the ball anywhere and just put me in the right positions to go make plays on any spot on the offense. I feel like I’ll just be a versatile weapon. Just get the ball in my hands.”
Interestingly, the Mobile, Alabama, native didn’t get a ton of SEC love during the recruiting process. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, in fact, told Perine he was too slow to play in the SEC. Naturally, Perine torched Auburn for an 88-yard touchdown run in a 24-13 win over the Tigers in October.
Perine said he uses those comments as motivation.
“Somewhat,” he said, “but at the end of the day, I just carry myself as a high-caliber guy just because I believe in myself. I never really worry about the outsiders or anybody who always doubted me. I just use that as a little motivation just to carry myself the right way and be who I know I am.”
Perine was happy to play for Dan Mullen, who recruited Perine out of high school when he was head coach at Mississippi State.
“Hats off to Coach Dan Mullen,” Perine said. “He’s a great guy. He was one of those guys that believed in me in the early period [of] my recruiting process. It just means he knows how to recruit. He’s a great guy at just finding talent. Hats off to him being a great coach and having us being able to believe in his process when he became the head coach at Florida. It’s just been a great experience for our program.”