Texas A&M's future defense got even better Sunday.
That is because highly regarded outside linebacker Harold Perkins chose the Aggies during the Under Armour All-America Game, per ESPN's Tom VanHaaren.
Perkins, who checks in at 6'2½" and 210 pounds, is a 5-star prospect and the No. 5 overall player, No. 1 linebacker and No. 1 player from the state of Texas in the 2022 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
He caught the eye of some of the best programs in the country, as Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas and USC were all on his list of interested schools at some point during the recruiting process.
There is no better testament to Perkins' athleticism as a linebacker than the fact he was also a dangerous running back during his high school career.
The speed that helps him play the running back position translates to the defensive side of the ball, with the ability to pursue ball-carriers in space and rush the quarterback off the edge. Opposing offensive linemen will have a difficult time keeping him out of the backfield as a pass-rusher, which should help him play his way into the rotation during his freshman season.
Perkins is also solid against the run and can make tackles in space.
Gabe Brooks of 247Sports pointed to Perkins' versatility as a defensive playmaker, which should allow him to contribute in 4-3 and 3-4 sets while remaining on the field for passing downs as someone who can keep up with tight ends or running backs coming out of the backfield.
Between his explosiveness as a pass-rusher, his tackling ability and that tendency to impact the game in a number of ways, Perkins has the potential to be one of the best players in the entire 2022 recruiting class.
If he lives up to that potential, he can help Texas A&M compete in the daunting SEC.
The Aggies nearly made the College Football Playoff during the 2020 campaign, which was just their second season with fewer than three losses since 1994. The best way to maintain more consistency moving forward is by landing playmakers like Perkins on the recruiting trail, so this was a significant victory for the program.