Breshad Perriman has had one favorite team for most of his entire recruiting process. And he'll be playing for that team come next fall when he straps on the gold and black of the UCF Knights, to whom he committed on Sunday.
You could just tell there was something happy going on with a family that had lingered in the Bright House Networks Stadium concourse following the Knights' thrilling 49-35 victory over East Carolina back on Oct. 30.
Several family members and friends were hanging around well after the stadium had emptied, well after most of the UCF players had scattered, and certainly long enough for UCF head coach George O'Leary to have already ridden off in his golf cart.
O'Leary usually scatters pretty quick after games. He addresses the team in the locker room, meets with the press longer than he wants and then hops on his golf cart, wife in tow, dodging lingering fans with such daring behind the wheel that it's all the missus can do to hang on, as hubby skedaddles off to wherever it is veteran college football coaches go on Saturday game nights.
But not on this night. One could just tell that UCF had a special visitor for whom it was worth hanging around a little longer than usual.
Athletic director Keith Tribble was even lingering, shaking hands, the sneer of a possible East Carolina rally replaced on his face by a big wide smile as he greeted the Perriman family. Father Brett was the former NFL player and star receiver at the University of Miami back in the day.
There were friends and family and hands to be shaken. All of the people surrounded one of the more smiley people of the bunch. It was young Breshad, a high school phenom out of Lithonia, Ga., Arabian Mountain High School.
A smile pitched across his face even though the weight of most of his body rested on a pair of crutches, the result of a broken femur. Five games in and he was done for the season.
"I had a go-route to the goal line and I came down wrong," Perriman said. "I scored though."
But now he was looking to secure a place for next season. UCF was willing to oblige.
The other schools interested in his services are FIU, Florida State, UMass, Marshall and Uconn. Oh, and dad's favorite, Miami.
It all came to fruition Sunday. Perriman confirmed via text message that he had indeed committed to the Knights and he couldn't talk right then because he was out to dinner with his family. A celebratory meal, no doubt.
Perriman was one of four commitments UCF landed on Sunday night in a flourish that was no doubt the beginning of a whirlwind finish the Knights seem to have in store for Wednesday's National Signing Day.
It's easy to see why UCF is quite happy to have landed this stellar athlete, stolen away from the rest of the big boys like thieves in the night. They kept this one mostly quiet. That's the way they roll at UCF recruiting.
That's how they snuck in a 6-foot-2, 180-pound stud with 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed and a vertical leap of 36 inches that will be screaming next season for Jeoffrey Godfrey to just loft the ball his way.
Back on that fall afternoon of an unofficial visit, Perriman was happy. He could see his future even though his present was not pretty, crutches and all.
"It was nice. The crowd was very into the game, very energetic and that's always good," said Perriman over the phone a day after returning home to Georgia. Halloween to be exact. But there were no tricks. This agile athlete was really saying that UCF was his No. 1 school. "I like how the team played hard throughout the whole game and I like Jeff Godfrey's arm a lot. He's a real good player."
When asked if he could see himself in a Knights' uniform, Perriman said, "There's a good chance. Right now they are (leading) by a good bit."
It will be nice for him to settle in for four years at the East Orlando campus. He's played at three different schools in three years. Arabian Mountain as a senior, Lithonia Martin Luther King High as a junior and Conyers (Ga.) Heritage as a sophomore.
Miami was second on his list and his father would have loved to have seen his son swaggin' in the orange and green.
"He really says it's up to me," the young Perriman said. "He said he wouldn't mind to see me going (to Miami), but he didn't want to pressure me, either."
There are 28 new football players coming to UCF campus in 2011 ... actually, more than that, just how many, we do not know ... and one of them with the most pressure on him will be Perriman. Partly because of his pedigree, but mostly because of what his ability promises. Speed and excitement.
UCF fans can't wait.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun