IRONTON Ironton senior Ty Perkins has accomplished almost everything a high school football player can in his career.
The wide receiver and defensive back is ranked as a three-star prospect, according to recruiting website 247 Sports.
In June, Perkins announced his commitment to the University of Cincinnati, a school set to join the Big 12 at the start of next season.
Going along with his ranking and opportunity to play football at a high level, Perkins also has the accolades to back it up.
He was a third-team All-State selection in Ohio Division V last year, and has the numbers to make a case for a higher stake this season when the teams are announced in mid-December.
Already this season, Perkins has taken home the hardware for Southeast District Division V Offensive Player of the Year.
Perkins has totaled 50 catches for 1,145 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Fighting Tigers in 2022.
A transfer from Lucasville Valley entering his junior season, Perkins made a splash in just his second game.
After Jackson made a field goal to take a 10-7 lead with just over one second remaining, Perkins was the last to receive a series of laterals from his teammates on the ensuing kickoff.
Perkins took the pitch 79 yards, dodging several would-be tacklers and picking up some late blocking help to find his way into the end zone, giving his new team a 13-10 victory.
The play was named SportsCenter’s top play of the day.
Despite the early success, the season did not end how Perkins or his team wanted.
Ironton experienced an early playoff exit at the hands of rival Wheelersburg in the third round, 17-14.
As he readied for his senior season, Perkins began to gain comfort within the program.
“I didn’t have as good of a season as I wanted to last year, but I’m having a lot better season now,” Perkins said. “I think it’s because I’m a lot more comfortable and I got to know the guys a lot more during the offseason and after football season.
“We became a family, and it’s really special what we have right here.”
Though he was putting himself in an unfamiliar position at first, Perkins said his teammates welcomed him right away.
“My first day here, I remember it like it was yesterday,” Perkins said. “Everyone came up to me and introduced themselves. I felt like it was home.”
Perkins quickly became introduced to his new best friend shortly after he arrived in Ironton in the form of quarterback Tayden Carpenter.
“Him and his family welcomed me like I was one of their own and it just means a lot from him,” Perkins said. “We became best friends as soon as I got here.”
Tigers coach Trevon Pendleton pointed to one attribute that has impressed him in Perkins since he arrived: maturity.
“Obviously when he got here he had some goals for himself, but (he had) the maturity to develop and work for those goals,” Pendleton said. “He has truly turned his weaknesses into his strengths and became a much better football player.”
A focus on the physical traits of his game is another area that Pendleton said Perkins began to hone.
“He’s put a lot of time and effort into it,” Pendleton said. “It starts in the weight room, and then some extra work on the field, but he has really evolved and transformed himself into a premier player.”
That work ethic has become contagious for Perkins, now a leader on Ironton’s team in his last season.
“When you start doing everything necessary, everything in the weight room, everything on the field to put yourself in position to be successful, it kind of carries over and you start viewing things differently and just start carrying yourself a different way and you hold people to that standard,” Pendleton said. “I think Ty has done a phenomenal job of that.”
Perkins has had a phenomenal playoff run thus far, too.
In Ironton’s third-round game against Portsmouth West, Perkins put up five catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns.
The following week against Harvest Prep, Perkins shined on both sides of the ball. He complemented six catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.
Though he had just two catches for 14 yards last week in the state semifinal win over Valley View, Pendleton said Perkins still made a difference in the outcome.
“Honestly, it’s every week, take what the defense gives us,” Pendleton said. “Last week is a prime example: people try to take him away, but he impacted the game more than he will ever know just by being on the field, being that target, being that threat.
“When teams give us an opportunity to take advantage with him, he’s capitalized on it.”
Perkins said continuing that hard-working mentality has been the reason for his playoff push.
“Every day, it’s full-go. We get it done every single day out here on the field,” Perkins said.
While Perkins has done just about everything one could imagine over the course of his career, there’s still one thing he’s chasing: a state championship.
With all those accomplishments in mind, Perkins offered no hesitation when asked if he would trade all of them for a win on Friday in Canton.
“Absolutely, there’s no question about it,” Perkins said. “I’d do anything to win State here.
“I’d do anything to play here one last season, but I don’t think I’m going to have to trade it all because I think we’re going to get it done this Friday.”