Spencer Perry saw his recruitment process switch gears on Saturday, when he received offers from three powerhouse programs.
The standout 2016 defensive back collected scholarships from Michigan, Florida and Auburn. The Tigers extended an offer while Perry spent time on campus for a junior day, culminating a lengthy recruitment with the team.
“I’ve been talking to Auburn for a year but it’s been a much different situation with the other schools," he said.
Perry's past experience with Florida and Michigan was far abbreviated. Neither team maintained significant correspondence until last week.
"I kind of saw that one coming and knew Auburn just wanted to get me on campus and make sure my size is the same as it's listed," he said. "Michigan and Florida were more of a surprise."
Perry, who claims to stand at 6'3", 200 pounds, has quickly formed a relationship with Auburn's recent additions on the defensive staff. Former Florida head coach Will Mushchamp warranted substantial respect when he accepted the position of Tigers defensive coordinator.
"I truly believe Muschamp is one of the few defensive masterminds in college football," Perry said. "He's a genius on that side of the ball and understands how to put his players in position to dominate. It's the kind of defense you want to be a part of in the next few years."
Auburn defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson also made a strong impression on Perry during the visit.
"T-Rob can relate well with anybody, and he's the kind of coach who tells you things how they really are—not just what you want to hear," he sad. "One of the coolest things about junior day was when my parents and I sat down with him while he explained his defensive game plan and how I would fit in it."
Auburn, like most interested college programs, is targeting Perry as a safety. His physical stature and range are rare for the position, and he appears comfortable embracing that role for years to come.
"Pretty much every coach tells me that my size and athleticism make me different than a lot of other top safeties," Perry said. "They say I'm 6’3”, 200 pounds but move like I’m 5’11”, 160 pounds when I react to the ball. I understand how to use my body when I hit people. Some players go too low or too high on tackles. I fire through full force with my head forward."
His skills have quickly caught the attention of several top-tier college squads.
Though he lived in Auburn last season, Perry has since transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Now Sunshine State programs have entered the mix with increased interest.
The Gators extended an offer on Saturday and Perry anticipates some upcoming visits to The Swamp.
"Now that I'm at IMG, it'll be easier to get up to Florida," Perry said. "I know a lot of my teammates have interest in the Gators, too, so there will be some opportunities for us to check it out."
He is also set to visit Tallahassee this upcoming weekend. Perry, who noted his decision-making process is "totally wide open," believes another offer could await him at the Seminoles' junior day.
"Florida State has shown interest for a while, but when Florida offered, it seemed like FSU became more urgent with wanting me there," Perry said.
Beyond the Southeast region, Perry plans to visit Michigan "sometime this spring". The Wolverines have utilized former Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin as a key recruiter in the area.
Perry noted his decision-making process remains "totally wide open" right now. He mentioned Miami, Oklahoma and Ohio State as other potential eventual possibilities.
Though he only held a short list of collegiate opportunities until recently, things have heated up for Perry. Saturday's flurry of offers have swiftly altered the course of his recruitment.
"It changes a lot," Perry said. "I was taking things slow and really waiting for schools to start showing some more interest. Then suddenly, three of the county’s biggest schools reached out with offers. The process is definitely picking up.”
Quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue.
Player ratings courtesy of 247Sports.