Move over Will Anderson and Jalen Carter, there’s a new kid on the block. While Alabama’s Anderson and Georgia’s Jalen Carter will likely be the first two defensive players off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft, it’s LSU’s Harold Perkins who may be the best defensive player in all of college football.
Perkins, a freshman linebacker for LSU, was a five-star recruit in the class of 2022 and the top linebacker prospect in the nation according to 247Sports. Perkins initially pledged his commitment to Texas A&M. But he later flipped his commitment to LSU and new coach Brian Kelly.
Kelly may not land a bigger commitment in his career with the Tigers. Perkins has been downright electric in the first 10 games of his career. Entering Saturday’s game against Arkansas, he had 44 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one interception. But it was the game against the Razorbacks that truly served as his coming out party.
Freshman Linebacker Harold Perkins Singehandedly Lifted LSU Over Arkansas
Perkins was everywhere, acting as a pass rusher as well as a spy on speedy backup quarterback Malik Hornsby.
Harold Perkins tied the #LSU single-game sack record today (4).
2 forced fumbles
QB hurries all day
— Shea Dixon (@Sheadixon) November 12, 2022
He put in an absolutely dominant display, notching eight tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles. But perhaps most impressive is that he came up big in the game’s biggest situations. First, Perkins got to Arkansas QB Cade Ottin and hit his arm, forcing an errant pass and a Razorbacks punt from midfield with just over four minutes remaining.
Then, with the game on the line, Perkins again got to Ottin. This time, however, he forced a game-sealing fumble to move the Tigers to 8-2 and keep them alive in the hunt for the College Football Playoff.
HAROLD PERKINS IS UNREAL
2 FORCED FUMBLESpic.twitter.com/1vdFHjNAdK
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 12, 2022
Twitter could hardly contain its excitement over the incredible freshman’s performance.
Harold Perkins Jr. has gone from "great freshman" to "Uh, is he the best defensive player in college football?" in like two weeks.
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) November 12, 2022
Harold Perkins is illegal
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) November 12, 2022
Harold Perkins is a thirty year old former Navy SEAL
— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) November 12, 2022
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker can’t enter the NFL Draft until 2025. But NFL teams are already lining up for the opportunity to select him.