UVA's Perkins now a household name in the ACC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- From unknown to being on the mind of every ACC defender, Bryce Perkins has become a household name.

"A lot of people underestimate his speed," Virginia Tech senior defensive back Reggie Floyd said, "I like to say he runs like a horse, he picks up speed as he goes."

"Playing against him last year, it was just hard to corral him, he's way too fast," Miami senior linebacker Shaquille Quarterman said, "He plays really well, I really became a fan of him after playing him, I have a lot of respect for him."

Perkins' explosion into the ACC last season may have only earned him an All-ACC honorable mention nod, but ACC coaches know his play speaks louder than the accolades.

"Super football player, he's a challenge, he is their offense," Pittsburgh Coach Pat Narduzzi said, "He's the guy you have to stop, he can throw it, he can obviously run it. When he can't throw it, he'll take off and hurt you with his feet."

But it's not just being one of two players in the country with more than 2,600 passing yards (2,680) or 900 plus rushing yards (923), the other being last season's Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, it's what goes on between the ears that keeps defenses up at night.

"He has a lot of skills that are worthy of consideration is he is just so calm between plays, during the play, nothing phases him," Miami Coach Manny Diaz said.

"It gives the appearance and it also is where the situation is not bigger than you, that you're confident, you're calm, you're ready and you're poised to do your best," Virginia Coach Bronco Mendenhall said, "When your quarterback acts like that as well, I think it's an advantage to your team."

That composure started in high school for Perkins, where his coaches gave him the nickname the "Cool Jamaican."

"Regardless of what happens, things go here, things go up, things go down," Perkins said, "But if you stay the same, if you stay level-headed then you'll be able to handle any situation when it comes."

That next situation comes this season, where Perkins knows the defense is coming and the "X" is on his back.

"I'm definitely self-motivated to do better more so for personal reasons rather than having a lot of attention on me," Perkins said, "I definitely want to be the best version of me I can."

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