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May 30, 2013

Perkins leaving program

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer announced on Thursday that linebacker David Perkins has left the Buckeyes football program.

Perkins, who appeared in nine of Ohio State's games as a freshman in 2012, arrived in Columbus last summer as a four-star prospect out of Washington high school in South Bend, Ind. He recorded six tackles in playing time that primarily came on special teams, and defended one pass last season. With Ryan Shazier suffering from a sports hernia, Perkins received a majority of the reps at the Buckeyes' first-time weakside linebacker position this past spring.

Meyer said that the parting between OSU and Perkins was a mutual one.

"Perkins is going to try to move on. I don't know where," Meyer said. "We wish him well."

The second-year Ohio State head coach said that there wasn't a specific reason behind Perkins' decision to leave, other than that playing time on defense didn't appear to be immediately available for him in 2013. Perkins would have likely backed up Shazier, a junior, in the upcoming season.

"It's disappointing but that's the business," Meyer said. "He sees himself behind another player that's going to be here for a couple of years...It's not like it was a nasty breakup."

Perkins was one of five linebackers that Meyer successfully recruited to Ohio State in 2012. Of the others who still remain on the roster, Joshua Perry is currently slated to be the Buckeyes' starting strongside linebacker, Jamal Marcus has moved to defensive end, and Camren Williams and Luke Roberts are serving as reserve linebackers. Freshmen linebackers Mike Mitchell and Trey Johnson will arrive on campus this summer as well.

The departure of Perkins leaves the Buckeyes at 81 scholarships vouched for heading into fall camp. Ohio State is allowed just 82 scholarship players this year, as opposed to the customary 85, as a result of NCAA sanctions stemming from violations committed by former head coach Jim Tressel and members of the 2010 team.

Meyer also said on Thursday that the Buckeyes are in good academic standing and finished the spring semester with a 2.5 grade point average, although admitted that he'll have his eye on a couple of players' work heading into fall camp.

"We have two guys we're monitoring, but as of right now, we anticipate everyone will be eligible for the season," Meyer said. "We're on track to August."



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