Versatile D'Sean Perry making plays on the edge for UVA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Only a few days before Virginia hosted Old Dominion, junior linebacker D'Sean Perry was called into the offices at the McCue Center to meet with coach Clint Sintim about another position change.
A few days later Perry, in his new position at Bandit, put in a solid performance against the Monarchs with four tackles and a tackle for loss.
"My competitive spirit is always there and the face that I just want to be one percent better than I was yesterday," Perry said, "So just trying to better myself every single day is what my goal is."
Perry came to UVA as an outside linebacker in the previous coaching staff's scheme and started playing the Bandit in the spring in John Rudzinski's multiple defensive look. This fall though Perry moved back to inside linebacker up until last week when the UVA coaching staff decided to work Perry back into the rotation at Bandit with Jack Camper nursing an injury.
"We just needed some depth and put him back there," Elliott said, "And obviously what he does is he creates a different change of pace for those guys on the offensive line with his speed and athleticism."
At 6'3" 230 pounds, Perry does not give off the appearance of a typical defensive end, but Elliott said "you get fooled by his stature." Perry's athleticism was what originally had coaches shift him to linebacker behind All-ACC standout Nick Jackson. But with reps limited behind Jackson, coaches have challenged Perry to contribute in every phase of special teams, which he has embraced.
"An athlete that can play multiple spots, brings us more depth and he's done a really nice job of transitioning to that role," defensive coordinator John Rudzinski said, "Which gives you the ability for him to rush the passer to drop in coverage and he's done a nice job."
At one point during Saturday's game, one of Perry's closest friends on the team Aaron Faumui pulled up a chair for Perry on the sidelines to go over the scheme on the defensive line. Despite the few snaps the two have played next to each other, Faumui knows Perry is up for the challenge.
"He adds a lot, me and D'Sean are close off the field, so we kind of talk over it when I'm at home with him and I try to let him know what I'm going to do because we play on the same side," Faumui said, "Just as long as he stays outside, force it outside to him, he's just going to make plays outside."