Senior wide receiver Terrell Perriman, a two-time state champion at Miami Central, could’ve been a Miami Hurricane, following in the footsteps of his uncle Brett.
Perriman could’ve followed his cousin Breshad to Central Florida.
Instead, Perriman signed with Utah, and he will arrive in Salt Lake City in June to begin his career in the Pac-12 Conference.
“Utah got a steal,” Central coach Roland Smith said. “He’s been on varsity since the ninth grade and had a tremendous career for us. I think he’s going to be a special player at Utah.”
Perriman, a 5-10, 175-pounder, had 35 catches for 671 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, averaging 19.2 per catch. He finished third in the county in receiving yards, and he said he runs 4.4 in the 40.
But despite his solid numbers, impressive speed, winning background and championship bloodline, Perriman said he didn’t get an offer from Miami.
Smith said Miami was likely looking for bigger receivers after signing a pair of 5-foot-9 / 5-foot-10 targets last year in Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley.
It remains to be seen whether Terrell can be as good a wide receiver as Breshad Perriman, who is Brett’s son. Breshad ran under 4.3 at his pro day and was the Baltimore Ravens’ first-round pick in 2015. He has yet to break out as a pro — just 43 career catches.
Brett Perriman, who is in Atlanta recovering from a near-fatal stroke he suffered in May 2016, is still the star of the family, dating to his days at Miami.
He won a national title with Miami in 1987, serving as a key part of a wide receiver group that also included Michael Irvin and Brian Blades. All three of those receivers — perhaps the greatest trio of wide-outs in UM history — were drafted in 1988, with Irvin going in the first round and Blades and Perriman in the second.
Perriman, now 52, played 10 years in the NFL and was best known for his time with the Detroit Lions, teaming with Barry Sanders and Herman Moore to make four playoff runs in six years. In 1995, Perriman and Moore — playing with ex-Dolphins and ex-Utah QB Scott Mitchell — became the first receiver duo in NFL history to have at least 100 catches and 1,400 yards each.
“I’ve seen (Brett) on tape,” Terrell said. “He reminds me of myself. He was explosive and fast. We’re very similar, but I think I’m faster.”
If he is as fast and even nearly as good as his uncle, Utah will be thrilled. The Utes already have a starting quarterback from South Florida in Hallandale’s Tyler Huntley, a rising junior.
“It’s cool to have (a South Florida quarterback) to throw to me,” Terrell Perriman said, “because he knows how we get down.
“I know that with me being part of the program, he won’t miss me (on pass patterns). I think we’ll make big plays together.”
Huntley, who was named Florida’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015, is one of several Dade/Broward athletes on Utah’s squad. The list includes ex-Hallandale running back Zach Moss, who ran for 1,173 yards, a 5.5 average and 10 touchdowns last season.
Utah also has running back Devonta’e Henry-Cole from St. Thomas Aquinas; wide receiver Demari Simpkins (Hallandale); linebacker Donavan Thompson (Central); and defensive end Chris Hart (Aquinas).
Perriman took his recruiting visit to Salt Lake City on Nov. 3, and he watched Utah rout UCLA 48-17. Huntley tied his career high with four touchdown passes in that game and added 93 rushing yards. Moss ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
It was snowing while Perriman was there, and he wants to try skiing when he returns to the Beehive State.
“I had never seen snow before,” he said. “It was a great experience.”
Perriman, who wants to study physical therapy, was asked why Miami didn’t progress from “interested” to an actual strong offer.
“I don’t’ know,” he said. “I think I have the potential and the ability to be on that (Miami) team. I don’t want to say I wasn’t good enough because I know I’m a great athlete. I probably was just overlooked.”