Florida Gators running back commit Lamical Perine (5-11, 217, Theodore, AL High) opened his season in dominating fashion on Friday night as Theodore took home a 43-6 win in the first game of the season behind a strong offensive game plan from offensive coordinator Matt Wells.
Perine only played the first half of the game as Theodore went up 40-0 at halftime, but the Gators commit still had nine carriers for 145-yards and two touchdowns in the win.
“It just feels good being back out on the field under these lights,” Perine said of his performance on Friday night. “Just being out here is amazing and this my last year so it’s good to get it in the books.”
Perine celebrated both of his scores with multiple Gator Chomps and he says it was to show his support for the team he’s committed to.
“I’ve got to support and put on for my team,” he said of his touchdown celebrations. “I actually talked to Coach [Jim] McElwain before the game. He told me ‘good luck on my first game’.”
Florida Gators running backs coach Tim Skipper has been a factor in Perine’s commitment to Florida and the two continue to build a great relationship.
“I talk to Coach Skipper a good bit, he’s like family now,” Perine said. “I’m comfortable talking to him and every time I talk to him it’s good.”
Not only is Skipper showing the Theodore running back love, but two other Gators coaches are on Perine hard.
“Coach McElwain always texts me on Twitter, so we are always texting back and forth,” he said. “I talk to Coach [Drew] Hughes and Coach Skipper a lot too. I’m comfortable with them.”
Perine, who is now up to 217-pounds, is a great fit for McElwain’s offense and he likes what he’s hearing from Florida’s staff.
“Coach Skipper and Coach McElwain tell me they are going to run the ball a lot,” Perine said of Florida’s offense. “I like [Jordan] Scarlett at running back. Me and him together is going to be a good mix. We will be able to switch out and keep each other fresh.”
With high school football starting up now Perine says that he’s unsure of when he will visit Gainesville again, but he does know that he will be in town soon.
“I have no visits planned because I’m just thinking about high school football,” he said. “I’m going to visit Florida some but I won’t to know until like the Friday before or something.”
Perine may not be at every home game this fall but he says that Florida Gators fans shouldn’t worry about him as he had a message for the Florida fans.
“I’m solid to Florida, you already know,” Perine said.“Keep supporting me, Gator Nation, and I’m going to keep running for y’all Gator Nation.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Perine had a very solid first game and looked good running the ball. Perine was also very good in pass protection. I would grade Perine out very highly with his pass protection and that’s something that’s rare for high school running backs. Perine remains solid to Florida and I don’t expect that to change.