DODGE CITY, Kan. — When Koby Perry received his first scholarship offer since being at Dodge City (Kansas) Community College, he didn’t exactly just take the news casually or in stride.
Given all that Perry’s been through, the offer he received Friday from Middle Tennessee State required more than a casual response.
“I dropped to my knees and really just thanked God and started praying,” Perry said. “I might’ve said ‘Thank you God’ 50 times. The things I’ve been through my whole life, and for God to still continue blessing me, man, I was just grateful.”
That’s because there were several times through Perry’s football career when he — and perhaps others — may not have figured the 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back to be in such a position. But these days, Perry isn’t too concerned with what others are saying.
He’s too busy proving naysayers wrong, and himself right.
“I’ve always known I can do this and play at this level,” he said. “This does nothing but motivate me more.”
Perry’s production in Dodge City’s defense during the 2017 season provided him a solid foundation To do just that. The former Alcovy standout was Dodge City’s second leading Tackler on a team that finished with a 4-7 mark.
The only player on the team with more total stops? Four-star prospect, Vidalia, Georgia product and Tennessee commit — as of May 20 — Lakia Henry.
Perry said one of Middle Tennessee State’s recruiters that primarily handles scouting JUCO players got the ball rolling.
“He reached out and said they loved my film, and then it just kind of went from there,” Perry said.
After MTSU defensive coordinator and safeties coach Scott Shafer got a glimpse of Perry’s chops, it was pretty much a done deal.
“They hit me back after that, and after contacting my coach here in Dodge City and (Alcovy) coach (Chris) Edgar,” Perry said. “Both of them put in a good word for me and that was that.”
The Blue Raiders, members of Conference USA, finished with a 7-6 overall record in 2017 which included a 4-4 mark in conference play. The Raiders ended 2017 with momentum, winning four of their last five contests, including a 35-30 triumph over Arkansas State in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.
But although Perry says he’s grateful for his first offer — and humbled that it came from a Division I program — he’s eyeing July 7, which is the first official day of workouts to prepare for Dodge City’s 2018 campaign, as an opportunity to build upon this moment of personal momentum.
In addition to the MTSU offer, Perry said he’s also talked with Youngstown State, a fairly competitive Football Championship Subdivision program. And though no offer has come from those talks yet, it’s just another sign for Perry that he’s tracking in the right direction.
“It’s like I’m still hungry for more. I feel like I’ve got a lot of unfinished business out there, and I know I’ve gotta ball out this season.”