High school prospects traveled up and down the east coast and from across the country to camp at Rutgers this week. For wide receiver Ntwademela Perry, the trip to Rutgers took him halfway across the planet.
A 16-year old senior at Star College Boys High School in Durban, South Africa, Perry has aspirations of college football and a post-graduate education in his native United States.
Perry’s father, Ed Perry, played football at West Virginia but the family moved to South Africa shortly after the birth of his son.
Perry does not play football while at school, but trains daily at his father’s gym.
“I want to be able to play college football so I’m working very hard to get there,” Perry said. “I think Rutgers is a phenomenal school and I had a great experience this week. Academically, athletically and as a school, they’re a great place.”
Perry checked in at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds during the Rutgers camp and impressed enough through two days to earn an offer as a preferred walk-on. Perry is expected to pursue a career at Rutgers after finishing his high school responsibilities. He aims for a spring enrollment.
“The coaching staff was phenomenal, especially my wide receivers coach [Matt Simon],” Perry said. “The atmosphere was amazing and the way that they push you to improve and treat you like family.”
Despite limited hands-on experience with American football, Perry has a preferred walk-on offer from Duke and interested from most 1-AA programs on the East Coast. He is on track to graduate in South Africa at the end of the year and will be college eligible at 17 years old for the spring semester.
“I train with my dad every day,” Perry said. “He’s very helpful. We’re watching film all of the time. I watch my favorite players from college football. … I watch a lot of Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green. I watch a lot of big wide receivers because that’s what I am trying to be.”
Perry is not a stranger to football competition. Born in Morgantown, W.V., Perry spends some summers in the United States where he has family in Brooklyn. He participated in multiple underclassman combines last year but said the Rutgers competition stood out.
“It was really fun,” Perry said. “They really had some competitive players from all around New Jersey and the country. The competition was really good, but I feel like I did very well and made myself stand out.”