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Thursday, April 18, 2013
Q&A: Coach of Watch List ATH Quick

By Brandon Chatmon

Oklahoma hopes to continue a recruiting pipeline with its pursuit of Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East). The Sooners signed Central East defensive backs L.J. Moore and Hatari Byrd in February and are hoping to lure Quick to Big 12 country as well. Central East defensive backs coach Tony Perry talked with SoonerNation about Quick's special talents, competitiveness and the impact Byrd and Moore could have on Quick's decision.

SoonerNation: When did you realize he was a special player?

Michiah Quick
Four-star athlete Michiah Quick visited Notre Dame last weekend and will visit USC, Oklahoma, Alabama and other schools soon.
Tony Perry: When he was in eighth grade. You could see then how good he was, he could do stuff the same as a varsity kid in the eighth grade. A lot of kids are better than the competition but with that kid you could see the separation. It was too easy, he didn’t have to go hard.

SN: At what point did it start to turn into production?

Perry: Sophomore year, going against some of the best players in the section and he was playing at a higher level than them. Against Clovis East he had five touchdowns in one game and as a sophomore he just dominated the game. We had D-1 guys on our team and they weren’t at his level.

SN: Was there a play or game when you realized how special he is?

Perry: This year, on defense, he did something I’ve never seen before. Against Tulare, they threw a ball, he intercepted it and ran it back 40 yards for a touchdown. They got the ball again, next play they threw to that side again and he picked it off and ran it back for a 44-yard touchdown. I was like, 'Whoa' because you know how hard interceptions are [to get]. He did it two consecutive series in a row. Then he went on a reverse 30 yards for a touchdown. He does stuff you just don’t see kids do.

SN: What position might be best for him long term?

Perry: Long term, since I’m a DB coach I’m going to say defense. But with him, it doesn’t matter what he plays. It’s choosing the right school, the right fit. He’ll be a guy that, if he plays receiver, can score. He’s a lot faster than people think. He has a lot going for him.

SN: What will separate him at the next level?

Perry: Michiah is not as strong as he’s going to be. He’s the type of guy, in the right program, with the right quarterback, he could get his name in the Heisman hunt, he’s that good. You might say it’s reaching but if he goes to the right school he’ll play as a freshman and he’ll be able to get into the endzone. Punt returns, kickoffs, he can do it all ways.

SN: So getting stronger is what he needs to improve?

Perry: Yes. Our head coach has him in a good program, he’s gotten bigger but I’m looking at the college guys, seeing them and what the program does to them, he’s going to be faster and stronger. Once he gets that kind of strength, it will be a real problem stopping that kid.

SN: How does he rank with guys you’ve coached in terms of competitiveness?

Perry: I’ve been really thinking about this. I’ve coached some competitive dudes, guys like Ricky Manning, Clifton Smith, Cliff Harris, and this kid… I’d say he’s ahead of all of them.

SN: When did you first notice that competitiveness?

Perry: It was a league game, homecoming, on the road and it was tied 7-7. I was frustrated and he was already making plays. But I said ‘Quick, you might have to take this game in your own hands.’ He said, ‘I got you coach’. They kicked off and he ran it back 95 yards. We stopped them, they punted and he ran it back 75 yards. We stopped them again and he caught a go route and went for 55 yards. He has that “DeSean Jackson” in him, I watched him at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly and he reminds me of DeSean.

SN: How much does he care about the game? Where does it rank in his priorities?

Perry: He loves playing football but it’s not the most important thing in his life. He takes care of school first, he’s got love for his family and friends, then it’s football. He loves playing though, anything we do he’s there. Once time we were on a unofficial visit and somebody asked him how many yards he had and he didn’t know. That just shows you he doesn’t really care about all the stats and stuff but when it’s time to play, he gets it done.

SN: What college might fit him best?

Perry: Right now it’s real open. He’s going to take trips to USC, UCLA, Oklahoma and Notre Dame.