Pete Golding has known about Suntarine Perkins for a long time, and even recruited him to Alabama.

So the new defensive coordinator at Ole Miss is ready and willing to coach the 5-star linebacker.

“Always knew he was a really gifted athlete,” Golding said. “I had him ranked as the top linebacker in the country. Extremely explosive, really fast, got really good top-end speed, but his closing speed is really good. I think it’s a struggle for young players that haven’t been in a college system, especially early, transitioning to being behind the ball, stacking, a lot of his high school tape was off the edge, or apex. Having to read and diagnose the box.”

Perkins, Raleigh, Mississippi, is listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, was ranked the No. 1 recruit in the state of Mississippi and one of the top linebackers in the country in his class.

The struggle with players like Perkins is fall camp is to install a defense, and not game plan.

“He’s done really well, he loves football, he’s very engaged, takes good notes, so I think he has an extremely high ceiling we’re excited about,” Golding said.