I like to tell people I collect quarterbacks. Part of that is I was a lucky enough to grow up in a town loaded with them and when you’re five-feet nothing and weigh 140 pounds soaking wet, other positions have more opportunities. Since that word—opportunity—is one of my favorites, I want to talk about one of those quarterbacks who makes the best of every one that crosses his path- E.J. Perry IV. The best quarterback EVER from my High school (Andover, Mass.) and the best high school quarterback this writer has seen in 40 years. He is now battling for serious playing time at Boston College. And as a kid who grew up with his dad and famous uncles, I could not be prouder of him on and off the field.
E.J. did record setting things for the Golden Warriors and his father E.J. Perry III, our head coach. He made throws, runs, and even chipped in on defense. Heck, he batted down the ball in the endzone to win the first-round playoff game at Lexington. He played maybe the best game I have seen a high school quarterback play to beat St John’s prep. Only a shady sketchy program stopped our team and E.J. in the next game. The three-sport star then did a smart thing—he picked a sport: football, and Boston College. His mother’s school and one of my top choices coming out of high school. And he forfeited his second half of his senior year at AHS to go. He had an opportunity.
E.J. went to work and turned some heads. My old college buddy Scott Loefler—a.k.a. Lefty—is the Eagle’s quarterback coach and offensive coordinator. He used to coach some guy who plays for the Patriots. The guy who went to the GOOD university in Michigan! An injury happened and E.J. did a Perry thing—he went team first—and told the coaches he wanted to burn his redshirt if he could help the team. He did and got some mop up work. No passes. And I watched every play. And I was never prouder of him. Some would say a wasted year. E.J.? NO.
I check in on E.J. and am tight with his family, he asked me to come to this year’s Spring Game. In April. The same weekend Michigan Football was playing. I promised him. It was an easy choice. U-M got snowed out. B.C. played and E.J. showed why my trip was worth it. He threw an early pick but picked it up with two touchdowns and many “wow” plays. He has gained twenty pounds since high school and is battling for the number two job with starter Anthony Brown back from his ACL injury. Nobody will outwork or out prepare E.J. I will watch every game win or lose, and he has already won. He is hero to our hometown and is exactly what sports needs today- a class kid who works hard and is team first. And he can throw a football. its not a matter of it, it’s a matter of when. E.J. just needs an opportunity.