2015 NFL DRAFT
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Peria Jerry

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 299 | College: Mississippi
 
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Overview

The Rebels' remarkable turnaround on defense in 2008 was thanks largely to the stellar performance of Jerry, who made a quick recovery from August arthroscopic knee surgery to have the most dominating season for an Ole Miss defender since the departure of All-American linebacke, Patrick Willis.

Mississippi finished 101st in the nation in rushing defense (199.08 ypg) and 88th in total defense (423.42 ypg) in 2007. With Jerry wreaking havoc in the opposing backfield, the team ranked fourth nationally in rushing defense (85.54 ypg) and 19th in total defense (307.23 ypg) in 2008.

Jerry led the Southeastern Conference and ranked second among the nation's defensive tackles (11th overall) with 18 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, an average of 1.5 stops for loss per game, in 2008. During last two seasons, he registered 32 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks, establishing his dominance in the middle of the field.

"Peria rises to every occasion that we've challenged him to this season," Mississippi defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix said. "There are so many people across the country who haven't seen him and what he can do. He's a kid that's been a force for us in the run game, in the pass game and in every aspect. I'm just proud to be able to say that I coached him his senior year."

Jerry's family roots are deep in football tradition. His cousin, Dwayne Rudd, was an All-American linebacker at Alabama (1994-96) and was selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by Minnesota, playing for the Vikings (1997-2000), Cleveland (2001-02) and Tampa Bay (2003). Their cousin, Derek Pegues, was an All-Southeastern Conference defensive back at Mississippi State (2005-08).

Jerry's brother, John, is an offensive lineman and teammate at Ole Miss (2006-present). Their cousins, linebacker Eddie Strong (1998-2002) and running back Toward Sanford (1999-2002), played at Ole Miss. Toward's brother, defensive back Jamarca Sanford (2005-08), played on the Rebel defense alongside Jerry during their careers.

Like most of his cousins and Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback DeShea Townsend, Jerry was a product from South Panola High School. During his prep days, he earned first-team All-State and Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Mississippi Association of Coaches. He was also named first-team All-State by The Clarion-Ledger and was a member of the RebelGrove.com Mississippi 15 Finest list.

Jerry made the Rivals.com Mississippi Top 20 and Mobile Register's Super Southeast 120 lists, in addition to being a member of Max Emfinger's Super South Top 200, which rated Jerry as the sixth-best inside linebacker in the region. He added the Clarion-Ledger's Top 40 recruits in Mississippi and The Sun-Herald's Top 30 accolades, while also being selected to Prep Star' All-Region and Super Prep's All-Dixie. After his senior year, he was chosen to play in the 2004 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile, Alabama.

A three-year starter, Jerry capped off his senior season by leading South Panola with 104 tackles, which included seven tackles for loss and three sacks, helping the team finish with a perfect 15-0 record in 2003, which was good enough to win the Class 5A state championship and earn a final ninth place national ranking by USA Today. He sat out his junior season due to injury, but recorded 255 tackles and 16 sacks for his career.

Jerry signed with Mississippi in 2004, but later enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy to improve his academics. He appeared in eight games that year, posting 30 tackles and five sacks, but was hampered by ankle problems. He enrolled at Ole Miss in 2005, playing in six of the Rebels' final seven games, as he missed the first four games overcoming his prep school injury. He finished with just three tackles.

Jerry saw action at every defensive line position in 2006, starting a total of six of the eight games he played in -- two each at left end, left tackle and nose guard. Foot and hand injuries forced him to miss four contests, but he still managed to record 22 tackles (17 solos) with two sacks and five stops for losses.

Jerry had his first injury-free season in 2006, starting all 12 games at left tackle. The All-Southeastern Conference second-team choice finished second on the team and seventh in the conference with 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, adding 3.5 sacks and a career-high 58 hits (40 solos). He also had his only career interception.

A right knee lateral meniscus tear required surgery in August, but after missing just the 2008 season opener, Jerry returned to the field, starting 11 of his final 12 games. The All-American and All-SEC first-team selection posted 49 tackles (25 solos), as he ranked second on the squad with seven sacks. He led the league with 18.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage, racing 13 yards for a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

Analysis

Positives: Quick, active three-technique tackle. … Good height and adequate girth inside. … Very quick off the snap, able to beat the down block by tackles or penetrate to force the quarterback to rush his decision. … Gets his hands inside guards' jerseys to push the pocket. … Chases downfield on plays away from him, and works hard to make a tackle when the ball is in his area. … Uses his hands well to defeat cut blocks inside. … Handles double-teams pretty well when playing the nose considering his height, and is able to get off the double to get to the ball. … Emerged as the unquestioned leader of the Ole Miss defensive line. … Dominant week at the Senior Bowl. … Good bloodlines. … Cousins Eddie Strong and Dwayne Rudd both played linebacker in the NFL.

Negatives: Makes a lot of plays when slanting toward the action. … Needs to play stronger at the point against the run. … Can play a bit high in rushing situations, causing him to lose the leverage battle. … Lacks great awareness, as he does not keep his eyes in the backfield. … Takes himself out of plays too often. … Needs to stay on his feet against stronger linemen. … Low test score. … May struggle with a complicated playbook.

Compares To: ANTHONY McFARLAND, ex-Indianapolis -- Like McFarland, Jerry is an undersized defensive tackle with a high motor. His versatility (can play zero, two- or three-tech), initial burst and active hands made him the most disruptive force in the SEC in 2008. While he did not do it in the past, Jerry showed marked improvement reading blocks, feeling pressure and redirecting to the play. He has become a force from the off-side and became a challenge for offensive linemen as he showed a more physical nature in his play. He won't maul a lineman, but has developed capable hands (wax on, wax off moves) with a quick swim to gain penetration. Still, like McFarland, injuries and durability issues are a concern.

Scouting Report

GENERAL REPORT: GRADE: 6.28

Body Structure: Jerry lacks a muscular frame or good height, as he has a fleshy frame with little room for additional bulk. He has wide hips, a big midsection, thick thighs and calves, long arms and strong hands, but is a bit top heavy, lacking good lower body strength to anchor.

Athletic Ability: Jerry is surprisingly quick for a player that carries his girth, as he also shows good lateral agility, doing a better job of slanting or making plays on the move rather than when anchored at the line of scrimmage. He has durability concerns, as the 2007 season was the only year he played relatively injury free since his high school sophomore campaign. Still, he is light on his feet and shows explosion and suddenness coming off the snap. He is a quick twitch type who showed in 2008 that he could play with a high motor. He has very active hands and puts enough power behind them to shock and stun getting into a blocker's chest. He is best when working down the line, as he has the loose hips to quickly change direction. He pursues hard and has a good feel for leverage and balance, but has a much stronger upper body frame than in his legs. GRADE: 6.0

Football Sense: Jerry did struggle academically and had to attend prep school earlier in his career, but made a good turnaround, earning Ole Miss academic honors in 2006. He has just adequate field awareness when scanning the backfield, despite 32 stops behind the line of scrimmage the last two years (gets a lot of garbage sacks or TFLs when slanting). He is a load to contain one-on-one, but he acts like a bull in a china shop too much, resulting in him being taken out of plays. Even with his academic success, he still scored lower on the Wonderlic test than most down linemen. He is still the type that needs a few reps to retain, but he made good adjustments on the move and shows good desire to locate, stalk and make the play. GRADE: 5.5

Character: Jerry has an outgoing personality. He is the unquestioned team leader and promoted a family atmosphere on the squad. He has no known off-field issues and has several cousins that excelled in football at Ole Miss and throughout the SEC. GRADE: 6.4

Competitiveness: Jerry shows outstanding competitiveness. He plays with true aggression, urgency and determination in his play. He will hustle and pursue until the whistle, especially when working downfield. He showed in 2008 that he had the ability to produce in the clutch. Even though durability issues are sure to arise, he makes remarkably quick recoveries from his bumps and bruises, playing with injuries that would sideline most for much longer. He plays with a very high motor, which sometimes sees himself just out-run the play, but offensive linemen need to account for his effort and intensity. If he can maintain that strong desire to win, he will be a big producer at the next level. GRADE: 7.5

Work Habits: Jerry is one of the hardest workers on the team. He is not the type that will beat his own chest or draw attention to himself, but he quickly filled the leadership void on the team after the departure of All-American linebacker Patrick Willis two years ago. The staff had come to rely on him to mentor the younger players and he really took to that role. He has a lot of pride in his play. Still, it leads you to wonder why his body lacks muscle tone and is quite fleshy in the midsection. He will need to improve his lower body strength, as that is one area of his game that is his weakest. GRADE: 6.0

ATHLETIC REPORT: GRADE: 6.63

Explosion/Pursuit: Despite an unimpressive physique, Jerry has a very quick initial step and low pad level to simply explode into the unsuspecting offensive linemen. He is fast and disruptive slanting into the backfield and is a move oriented type of player who is much more effective in space than when anchoring at the line. He lacks great lower body strength and when he gets too tall, he can get washed out of the play and lose leverage. He shows outstanding explosion off the snap and is a very effective quick twitch type. His initial quickness allows him to gain advantage and he shows good arm-over action to slip off the blocker. GRADE: 7.0

Strength at Point: Jerry gets most of his success based on his explosiveness off the line rather than try to out-battle the offensive linemen. He is a bit top heavy and will lose leverage at times when he gets too tall in his stance. When he keeps his pad level down, he can do a better job of splitting double teams. He needs to widen his base better for in-line trench battles, but is active with his hands and gets a good anchor vs. double teams when he hunkers down. He needs to be more consistent with his low pad level, but made very good strides in this area last season. When he plays high, he looks tentative coming off the ball. He uses his hand punch effectively to fend off and shed blocks quickly, but must become more alert at protecting his legs. His improved rip and club moves, along with his hand usage, generally saw him escape the initial block to penetrate. He still needs to improve his overall strength. GRADE: 5.8

Use of Hands: This is one of his better assets, along with his explosiveness. Jerry has learned how to use his burst and active hands to quickly shed. He comes off the ball with good explosion and gets his hands up quickly to generate a strong push. He has the rip, swim, club and arm-under moves to penetrate and disrupt in the backfield. He is very good at grabbing, controlling and pushing in attempts to separate. GRADE: 7.1

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: For a player with his marginal physique and noticeable girth, the big man can surely move down the line. He plays with a fast motor and with his intense effort, he is very disruptive coming off the block and flying to the ball. He has a solid straight-line burst and a good feel for slanting, thanks to loose hips to change direction easily. He is best when taking on plays in space, as he lacks the wide base and lower body drive to prevent from getting caught from behind when working through trash. He is active in pursuit and will hustle when he gets a free lane into the backfield. His speed is evident in his straight-ahead burst, but he needs to do a better job of clearing when operating in traffic. GRADE: 6.4

Tackling Ability: Jerry is a sure tackler when pursuing, as he drags down ballcarriers hard. His burst is more relentless than sudden, but with his improved hand usage he generates good body lean and upper body power to deliver a blow on contact. Rather than grab or make arm tackles like he did in the past, he has learned proper positioning. When he stays low in his pads, he can generate more power on contact. When he plays too high, he does not have the hip snap to compensate. GRADE: 6.3

Run Defense: Jerry is a model for those looking for a disruptive force. He has that first step that consistently gets him into the backfield and does a good job of keeping the blocker off his body so he can shed and make plays down the line. He uses his hands effectively to disengage and has a variety of moves to surprise a lethargic blocker. He has developed a good feel for the ball and showed in 2008 that he was quick to locate it. In the past, he would get his pad level too high, resulting in him losing some strength in his anchor, as he failed to sink his hips. However, he now stays at a good pad level, so he can use his functional strength to stack and control. GRADE: 7.1

Pass Rush: Jerry is not really a pass rusher, as most of his sacks happen by slanting or in garbage action, but he is a playmaker in the backfield and is constantly disrupting the pocket. He lacks the lower body power to consistently defeat combo blocks and while he shows very good aggression shooting the gaps as a bull rusher, he needs to show better consistency to finish. His bull rush can easily destroy guards and centers, but he won't have the same impact coming off the outside shoulder of an offensive tackle. In the past, he failed to get off blocks quickly, but he has now learned to generate explosion off the snap, which has improved his pass rush. His change of direction agility and high motor allows him to be a disruptive force in the backfield. The thing you notice on 2008 film is that he developed a counter move to help him separate after making initial contact. GRADE: 6.7

Closing on the QB: Jerry shows good effort to get to the quarterback and a quick burst to close, but does not always finish (gets reckless and over-pursues). His short burst gives him the ability to collapse the pocket, but he is more relentless than sudden. GRADE: 6.0

Instincts/Recognition: Jerry shows adequate ability to read working through trash and is best doing so when on the move. He has a good feel for schemes and double teams and is active with his hands to split. He is not the type that is fooled by play-action and misdirection and works hard escaping blocks to attack tight ends and short area receivers on screens. He just seems slower making plays working in-line than when in space. GRADE: 6.3

Compares To: ANTHONY McFARLAND, ex-Indianapolis -- Like McFarland, Jerry is an undersized defensive tackle with a high motor. His versatility (can play zero, two- or three-tech), initial burst and active hands made him the most disruptive force in the SEC in 2008. While he did not do it in the past, Jerry showed marked improvement reading blocks, feeling pressure and redirecting to the play. He has become a force from the off-side and became a challenge for offensive linemen as he showed a more physical nature in his play. He won't maul a lineman, but has developed capable hands (wax on, wax off moves) with a quick swim to gain penetration. Still, like McFarland, injuries and durability issues are a concern.

OVERALL GRADE: 6.57

--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

Jerry started 29 of 38 games at Mississippi, including 25 at left defensive tackle, two at left end and two at nose guard … Recorded 132 tackles (83 solos) with 12.5 sacks for minus 78 yards, 37.0 stops for losses of 135 yards and nine quarterback pressures … Caused two fumbles and recovered two others, returning one 13 yards for a touchdown … Deflected a pair of passes and intercepted another for a 6-yard return.

2008 Season

All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, ESPN and the Associated Press, adding second-team honors from College Football News and Rivals.com … First-team All-Southeastern Conference choice … Rated the best senior defensive tackle in the nation by Pro Football Weekly … Made the Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy Watch Lists … Received the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award, given to the team's Most Improved Defensive Player … Started the team's last eleven games at left defensive tackle, missing the season opener vs. Memphis after undergoing August surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee … Recorded 49 tackles (25 solos) and ranked second on the team with a career-high seven sacks for minus 54 yards, adding three quarterback pressures … Led the league and ranked second among the nation's defensive tackles (11th overall) with 18.0 stops for losses of 80 yards … His dominance in the trenches saw Ole Miss finish fourth in the nation in rush defense, allowing only 85.54 yards per game, compared to 199.08 yards the previous season … Caused two fumbles and recovered another that he advanced 13 yards for a touchdown … Also deflected a pass … Registered at least two tackles behind the line of scrimmage in seven contests.

2008 Game Analysis

Memphis … Did not play due to his recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn right lateral meniscus.

Wake Forest … Jerry and his fellow defenders limited Wake Forest to just 81 rushing yards, but kicker Sam Swank kicked a 41-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining to give No. 20 Demon Deacons a 30-20 victory over Ole Miss … Jerry, one of the game captains, saw his first action of the season but did not register any statistics … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#61-Barrett McMillin (6:03-285).

Samford … Jerry made the most of his first starting assignment of the season, ranking second on the team in tackles (six overall, three solos), including two tackles for losses, as the Rebels cruised to an easy 34-10 win over Samford … During Samford's first offensive series of the game, Jerry tackled wide receiver Brock Johnson after a 7-yard gain on 2nd-&-8. Later in the drive, Jerry dropped quarterback Richie Fordham for a 3-yard loss on a rushing attempt … Near the end of the first quarter, the Ole Miss defensive tackle stopped tailback Chris Evans 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage on a 3rd-&-3 plays, forcing Samford to punt … A few minutes before halftime, Jerry stymied Evans for no gain on a rushing attempt … In the third quarter, Jerry was credited with tackling Brock Johnson after an 8-yard gain, as well as bringing down the wide receiver for a 4-yard loss on third down, forcing Samford to punt the ball away … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#50-Thomas Gray (6:04-285).

Vanderbilt … Jerry returned a fumble 13 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career, but turnovers and penalties ruined the Rebels attempt at securing the 600th victory in the program's storied history, losing to Vanderbilt, 23-17, in Ole Miss' SEC opener … Jerry finished the game with six tackles (3 solos), including 2.5 tackles for losses, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery … At the 5:04 mark in the first quarter, Jerry tackled Vandy quarterback Chris Nickson for a 5-yard loss, forcing the signal-caller to lose control of the ball, which the defensive tackle picked up and returned 13 yards for a touchdown that increased the Rebels' lead to 10-0 … On Vandy's next possession, Jerry tackled Vandy tailback Jared Hawkins for a 2-yard loss on the Rebels' goal line … In the third quarter, the Ole Miss defensive tackle was credited with stopping Hawkins 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage … Early in the fourth quarter, Jerry tackled Hawkins after the tailback picked up 3 yards for a first down and, on the next play, stopped quarterback Mackenzi Adams after a 2-yard gain … Later in the fourth quarter, Jerry stopped Hawkins for no gain at the Mississippi 40-yard line … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#71-Joey Bailey (6:04-280).

Florida … In perhaps the most stunning upset of the 2008 college football season, Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead connected with wide receiver Shay Hodge on an 86-yard touchdown completion that put the Rebels on top, 31-24, with 5:26 remaining in the game, which they would hold on to win, 31-30 … Game captain Peria Jerry contributed to the victory with three tackles (2 solos) … Near the end of the first quarter, Jerry tackled Gator quarterback Tim Tebow after a 2-yard rush … Jerry was flagged for being offside with 2:26 remaining in the first half … Florida multi-purpose weapon, Percy Harvin, broke off a 14-yard run before Jerry and a teammate could bring him down … With less than two minutes left in the game, Jerry came up with a critical stop, tackling Tebow for no gain on 4th-&-1 at the Ole Miss 32-yard line … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#55-Mike Pouncey (6:05-312).

South Carolina … Jerry contributed two tackles (1 solo) in the Rebels' disappointing 31-24 loss to the Gamecocks on homecoming … During the first minutes of the second half, South Carolina's Mike Davis was tackled by Jerry after a 2-yard gain, but not before the tailback picked up a first down … Later in the third quarter, Davis gained 3 yards on 1st-&-goal before Jerry and a teammate could wrap him up … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#60-Terrence Campbell (6:03-290)-One false-start penalty.

Alabama … Jerry posted a season-high seven total tackles, but No. 2 Alabama was able to escaped with 24-20 victory over the Rebels … Jerry finished the game with seven tackles (3 solos), 2.5 tackles for losses, one forced fumble, one sack, and one pressure … On the opening series of the game, Jerry tackled Alabama tailback Glen Coffee after a 1-yard gain … Later in the quarter, the Rebel defensive tackle was credited with tackling Coffee 1-yard behind the line of scrimmage and pressuring Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson into throwing an incompletion on second down … In the second quarter, Jerry tackled tailback Mark Ingram after runs of 3 and 4 yards … In the third quarter, Jerry limited Coffee to a 2-yard pickup over left guard and sacked John Parker Wilson 8 yards behind the line of scrimmage … In the game's final stanza, the Ole Miss defensive tackle stopped Coffee for a 2-yard loss at the Alabama 41-yard line, causing the tailback to fumble the ball, which was recovered by defensive end Kentrell Lockett, setting up Rebel wide receiver Shay Hodge's 17-yard touchdown reception … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#76-Marlon Davis (6:02-300).

Arkansas … Jerry posted a career-high two sacks to go along with his five tackles, as Ole Miss weathered an Arkansas rally to give their head coach, Houston Nutt, a 23-21 victory over his former team … For the game, Jerry registered five tackles (3 solos), two sacks, and two quarterback pressures … Late in the first quarter, Jerry pressured Arkansas quarter-back Casey Dick on third down at midfield, causing the signal-caller into throw an incompletion and forcing the Razorbacks to punt … In the second stanza, Jerry sacked Dick on third down deep in Arkansas territory, forcing yet another Razorback punt. Later in the quarter, Jerry picked up his second sack, bringing down Dick for a 1-yard loss at the Arkansas 19-yard line … In the third quarter, the Ole Miss defensive tackle was credited with tackling tailback Michael Smith for no gain at the Arkansas 14-yard line, stopping Smith for a 5-yard gain on the same drive, and, later in the quarter, pressuring Casey Dick into throwing an incompletion on 3rd-&-17, forcing Arkansas to punt … Jerry's final tackle of the afternoon came at the 8-minute mark in the final frame, when he tackled tight end D.J. Williams after a 12-yard reception … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#72-Grant Cook (6:06-320)-One penalty for being downfield ineligibly.

Auburn … Jerry continued to make plays in the opponent's backfield, finishing the game with 1.5 tackles for losses, giving him six TFLs in his last three games, as Ole Miss took another step closer to bowl-eligibility by defeating Auburn, 17-7 … For the game, Jerry tallied six tackles (3 solos), including 1.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage … Early in the first quarter, Jerry tackled running back Brad Lester 1-yard behind the line of scrimmage … In the second quarter, the Rebel defender was credited with bringing down Tiger quarterback Kodi Burns after a 7-yard run and stopping Lester 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage … After the break, Jerry tackled Kodi Burns, who converted a 3rd-&-13 play with a 15-yard run, stopped tailback Ben Tate for a 1-yard loss, and brought down wide receiver Mario Fannin after an 8-yard reception … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#66-Mike Berry (6:03-312)-One false-start penalty.

Louisiana-Monroe … The Rebels easily defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 59-0, the greatest margin of victory in the program's history in nearly 40 years, and became bowl eligible for the first time since 2003 … Jerry contributed to the landmark event with four tackles … Midway through the first quarter, Jerry tackled ULM's Mitch Doyle after the tight end picked up 8 yards. Later in the drive, Jerry limited running back/wide receiver Luther Ambrose to 5 yards on a rushing attempt … In the second quarter, the Ole Miss defender tackled tailback Frank Goodin after a 6-yard gain … After the break, Jerry registered is sole tackle of the second half by stopping Goodin for no gain at the ULM 26-yard line … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#71-Doug Stroud (6:06-331).

Louisiana State … Jerry and his fellow defenders limited LSU to just 37 yards on the ground, and the defensive tackle spent much of the day in the Tiger backfield, finishing the game with 2.5 tackles for losses, including one sack, as Ole Miss defeated the home team, 31-13, for the Rebels' fourth-straight victory … For the game, Jerry tallied three tackles (2 solos), 2.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and one sack … During LSU's first drive of the second half, Jerry dropped running back Charles Scott for losses of 1 and 2 yards … Later in the third quarter, Jerry sacked quarterback Jordan Jefferson for a 9-yard loss on third down, forcing the Tigers to punt the ball away … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#65-Lyle Hitt (6:02-289).

Mississippi State … It was a career night for both the Rebel defense, which set a school record by allowing -51 rushing yards and posting 11 sacks, and Jerry, who finished the game with a career-high four tackles for losses and two sacks, which equaled his career high, in Ole Miss' decisive 45-0 victory over intrastate rival Mississippi State … When the game was over, Jerry had accumulated five tackles (3 solos), four TFLs, and two sacks … Early in the second quarter, Jerry sacked Bulldog quarterback Wesley Carroll for a 13-yard loss on third down, forcing MSU to punt … During a drive later in the quarter, Jerry tackled running back Anthony Dixon for losses of 1 and 4 yards … At the start of the third quarter, the Ole Miss defensive tackle sacked Wesley Carroll for a loss of 7 yards and, later, on 3rd-&-17, sacked the signal-caller 14 yards behind the line of scrimmage to force a punt … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#78-Michael Gates (6:04-310).

Texas Tech (Cotton Bowl) … A team that will certainly be on nearly everyone's Top 10 list to start the 2009 season, Ole Miss used equal parts offense, defense, and special teams to defeat the favored Texas Tech Red Raiders, 47-34, in the Cotton Bowl … Jerry, who finished the game with two solo tackles and one sack, commented on the Ole Miss defense after the game, "For the most part, we did really good. I felt like we could have did a little better and came up with a few tackles in the backfield, but for the most part it all played off. Everybody worked hard, ran into the ball and that's why I want to thank Coach Nutt for everything and just blessed. Coach has been telling us all week to run to the ball, run to the ball. Our guys did a great job. I mean, we just hustled to the ball when plays came our way. In the first half, it was, you know, pretty much about equal. But going into the second half, coming in, you could see the guys slowing up a little bit. And all those extra gasses Coach Nutt put us in practice, they paid off. We weren't tired a bit. Run all day. Basically, everything they showed us we were already prepared for. They made some catches. We missed some tackles. But for the most part, we hung in there. Coach (Tyrone) Nix prepared us for everything they showed us" … Midway through the third quarter, Texas Tech's Graham Harrell attempted a quarterback sneak on 4th-&-4 from the Red Raiders' 40-yard line, but Jerry was able to limit the signal-caller to 3 yards, turning the ball over to Ole Miss on downs … Later in the third quarter, Jerry sacked Harrell for a 7-yard loss on third down from Tech's 36-yard line, forcing the Red Raiders to punt … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#76-Brandon Carter (6:07-354)-One unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.

2007 Season

Jerry started all twelve games at left defensive tackle, earning second-team All-SEC honors from Rivals.com and the Associated Press … Ranked second on the team and seventh in the conference with 14.0 stops for losses of 41 yards, including 3.5 sacks for minus 16 yards while also registering four pressures … Recorded a career-high 58 tackles (40 solos), as he also recovered a fumble, deflected one pass and intercepted another for a 6-yard return.

2007 Game Analysis

Credited with three tackles, including one solo vs. Memphis and registered three tackles with two stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Missouri … Posted three hits at Vanderbilt and four tackles (3 solos) with a stop for a loss and a pressure, earning Rebel Quarterback Club Defensive Player of the Week honors vs. Florida … Established career highs in total tackles with eight, solos with six and stops behind the line of scrimmage with three, as he was again chosen Rebel Quarterback Club Defensive Player of the Week vs. Georgia … Was in on five total stops with four solos and two tackles for loss vs. Louisiana Tech … Credited with six tackles (4 solos), three stops for loss, including a 1-yard sack of QB John Parker Wilson and a fumble recovery vs. Alabama … Collected two QB hurries, a 6-yard sack and four total tackles vs. Arkansas … Posted three stops with two solos and a sack in the Auburn clash … Totaled seven stops (six solo), a stop behind the line of scrimmage and returned his only college interception 6 yards vs. Northwestern State … Recorded eight tackles and an assisted stop for a loss vs. Louisiana State … Closed out the season with four tackles and a 3-yard sack vs. Mississippi Stat.

2006 Season

Received the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award, given to the team's Most Improved Defensive Player … Battled through foot and hand injuries, starting six of the eight games he played in … Was in the starting lineup at three different positions - at left end vs. Memphis and Alabama, at left tackle vs. Louisiana State and Mississippi State and at nose guard in the Missouri and Kentucky contests … Finished with 22 tackles (17 solos) that included two sacks for minus 8 yards and five stops for losses of 14 yards … Had two QB pressures.

2006 Game Analysis

Had one solo tackle in his first career start, vs. Memphis … Added six tackles (4 solos) with a 2-yard sack of QB Chase Daniel vs. Missouri … Posted five hits vs. Northwestern State and registered three tackles in each of the team's last two games, vs. Louisiana State and Mississippi State.

2005 Season

Saw action in six of the team's final seven games as a reserve defensive tackle, missing the first four contests due to an ankle injury … Recorded three tackles (1 solo) … Moved to defensive end in spring drills after the season.

2004 Season

Attended Hargrave Military Academy, playing football for renowned head coach Robert Prunty … Rated the 15th-best prep school prospect in the country by Rivals.com, Jerry appeared in eight games, missing the final four contests with an ankle injury … Recorded 30 tackles with five sacks.

Injury Report

2004: Sat out the final four games with an ankle sprain.

2005: Missed the first four games with an ankle injury.

2006: Bothered most of the season by foot and hand problems that eventually saw him sit out the Wake Forest (9/23), Georgia (9/30), Arkansas (10/21) and Auburn (10/28) contests.

2008: Missed the season opener vs. Memphis (8/30) after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery (8/18) to repair a meniscus tear.

2009: Could not complete agility tests at the NFL Combine and limited on Pro Day due to a hamstring strain.

Agility Tests

Combine: Did not participate in agility tests due to a strained hamstring … 32 /2-inch arms … 9 1/2-inch hands.

High School

Attended South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) High School, playing football for head coach Ricky Woods … Earned first-team All-State and Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Mississippi Association of Coaches … Named first-team All-State by The Clarion-Ledger and was a member of the RebelGrove.com Mississippi 15 Finest list … Made the Rivals.com Mississippi Top 20 and Mobile Register's Super Southeast 120 lists, in addition to being a member of Max Emfinger's Super South Top 200, which rated Jerry as the sixth-best inside linebacker in the region … Added the Clarion-Ledger's Top 40 recruits in Mississippi and The Sun-Herald's Top 30 accolades, while also being selected to Prep Star' All-Region and Super Prep's All-Dixie … After his senior year, he was chosen to play in the 2004 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile, Alabama … A three-year starter, Jerry capped off his senior season by leading South Panola with 104 tackles, which included seven tackles for loss and three sacks, helping the team finish with a perfect 15-0 record in 2003, which was good enough to win the Class 5A state championship and earn a final ninth place national ranking by USA Today … Sat out his junior season due to injury, but recorded 255 tackles and 16 sacks for his career.

Personal

Criminal Justice major, earning university Honor Roll recognition in 2006 … Son of Anita Jerry … His family roots are deep in football tradition. Cousin, Dwayne Rudd, was an All-American linebacker at Alabama (1994-96) and was selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by Minnesota, playing for the Vikings (1997-2000), Cleveland (2001-02) and Tampa Bay (2003) … Their cousin, Derek Pegues, was an All-Southeastern Conference defensive back at Mississippi State (2005-08) … Jerry's brother, John, is an offensive lineman and teammate at Ole Miss (2006-present) … Their cousins, linebacker Eddie Strong (1998-2002) and running back Toward Sanford (1999-2002), played at Ole Miss … Toward's brother, defensive back Jamarca Sanford (2005-08), played on the Rebel defense alongside Jerry during their careers … Born Peria Edward Jerry on 8/23/84 … Resides in Batesville, Mississippi.

 
 
Latest News
04/27/2009 - First round pick Peria Jerry, the defensive tackle from Ole Miss, was asked how much sleep he got Saturday night -- between getting the call in Hattiesburg, Miss., and arriving suit-clad Sunday morning at the Falcons complex. "Just a tad," he said. And he smiled. The Falcons had flown Jerry, his mother and sister in on Arthur Blank's private jet, along with second-round pick William Moore and his mother. They arrived at 2 a.m. at Chateau Elan, where they spent the night. The "big ol' country guy," as dubbed by Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, Jerry said it was just an extension of the royal treatment he'd felt from the Falcons since they brought him in for a visit a week ago. "I had told my sister a couple days before 'I really think I'm going to Atlanta,'" Jerry said. "They were the only team that worked me out. They put me in this big house on the lake (Lake Lanier.) I'm like 'Yeah, this is really nice right here.' It's a blessing to be here." Jerry is from Batesville, Miss., a town of 7,600. He grew up hunting, fishing and riding horses. His father farms and his mother, who split from his father when Jerry was a teenager, has worked one job after another to raise seven children.

04/27/2009 - 2009 NFL Draft Grades: Atlanta Falcons: B :The Falcons informed the media that their philosophy was to draft for need rather than best player available, and in selecting defenders with seven of their eight picks it was clear they felt their defense needed the emphasis. Few clubs can boast a more productive trio of defensive linemen drafted than Peria Jerry, Lawrence Sidbury, Jr. and Vance Walker. Watch for defensive backs William Moore and Christopher Owens to provide a much-needed degree of physicality to the Falcons' secondary early in their respective careers. - Rob Rang, The SportsXchange, NFLDraftScout.com

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