« Football 2015

Joshua Perry

School

Ohio State University

Position
Linebacker
Major
Consumer and Family Financial Services

Classroom

Joshua Perry has been named an OSU Scholar-Athlete and is on track to graduate in December with his degree in consumer and family financial services in just 3.5 years. He interned during the 2015 May school session with M/I Homes and during the 2014 May session with Continental Realty. This past May he also went to Costa Rica as part of the Athletic Department’s Soles 4 Souls program and spent a week distributing shoes to those in need. He presented a speech at Big Ten media days and encouraged all athletes to engage in good deeds. “People know us and they recognize us,” Perry said. “They want to be like us, and they will follow our lead. That’s why it is so important to for us to engage in good deeds and to promote positive things. People will notice and will want to do these same things, especially our younger fans. So use your platform as an athlete to share with others that we are more than just players. We are more than just rowers and throwers and runners and jumpers. We are young people with minds and with opinions, with good hearts, with incredible spirit and with big plans for the future. So go after the future and go after it with a vengeance.”

Character

Perry entered the 2015 season as a candidate for the Lott IMPACT Award, a national award that honors athletic ability as well as the character attributes of integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. He received the most player votes and will serve as an Ohio State team captain this year. In July, he was chosen by Big Ten representatives as one of two football players to represent all Big Ten student-athletes by presenting a speech in front of 1,500 people at Big Ten media days. This spring he won an Ohio Public Images award for his contributions to assist people with developmental disabilities. He was nominated for the award by the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities. His various efforts to raise awareness through the Autism Speaks Foundation come with a personal connection, as his brother, current Ohio State sophomore Jahred Perry, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a nine-year-old. Perry is a two-time winner of Ohio State’s Iron Buckeye Award, which is awarded bi-annually to six players for unquestioned physical training dedication, determination, discipline, toughness and leadership. This summer he represented the Buckeyes at a gathering of 1,000 Columbus business leaders at the Columbus Sports Commission’s 2015 Morning Sports Report.

Community

Perry is a tremendously conscientious and considerate individual who understands the need to “pay forward” and to help those whose voices don’t always get heard. He is a true champion among the team’s community service volunteers. His efforts on behalf of the team’s service projects include work with Athletes in Action, Ohio State Buckeye Village, LifeCare Alliance, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Second & Seven Foundation (reading to children at Greensview Elementary, Olentangy Shanahan Middle School and Oak Creek Elementary), VA Hospital, Saint Brigid of Kildaire School, Autism Speaks at Ohio State University, Peletonia (cancer awareness) and the Columbus City Schools Special Olympics. What sets Perry apart, though, is that he always goes beyond the typical “team” engagements and finds others to help. Consider this: He has advocated through time, effort and social media opportunities for a young cancer patient from Florida (Joshua Chambers) who he had never met until recently. Among his efforts he had teammates send 30-second video clips telling Joshua to “be brave” before one of his surgeries. He also organized another awareness effort with teammates by having them “whip childhood cancer” by having whipped cream pies smashed into each other’s faces. He visited with Joshua and his family and helped them when they came to Columbus to distribute computer tablets to kids at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and he did a “Super Awesome” video clip with Jeremy. According to his father, Jim, Perry has always been a “shepherd” for others.

Competition

Perry is not only a candidate for the national Lott IMPACT Award, but also he is on the watch list for the Butkus and Bednarik national defensive awards. He is now a veteran of 39 games and 24 starting assignments, and he will be a three-year starting linebacker for the Buckeyes. He is No. 1 on the team among current players in career tackles (193) and solo tackles (114), and he’s within reach of a possible top-10 standing in career tackles at Ohio State with another productive year. He has been extremely consistent, with at least five tackles in 20 consecutive games and in 23 games total. He also has produced games of 10 or more tackles four times. He is coming off a year in which he led the College Football Playoff National Champions in tackles with 124, a total that ranked second in the Big Ten Conference and earned him second-team all-Big Ten Conference honors in 2014 and preseason All-America mention in 2015. Perry’s 73 solo tackles last year have been topped by just one Buckeye in the last 12 years. He led the team in tackles in seven of the team’s 15 games last year with three double-figure tackling games led by a marvelous and career-best 18-tackle game in the double-overtime win at Penn State. He had a personal-best 12 solo stops that day as well.