From the moment he met Colorado's football coaches last weekend on his official visit, Quinn Perry knew he could make Boulder his home.
"I walked in and they were all super ecstatic to see me, meet me and get to know me, show what they have to offer as a program and just buy into me as a player and a person," Perry said. "That's big for me. If I get that connection with the coaches, they'll get the best out of me in every aspect and they did a great job in doing so."
An inside linebacker from El Camino (Calif.) College, Perry announced Monday that he has verbally committed to CU, with plans to sign his letter of intent when the regular signing period begins Feb. 6. Perry, who has three years to play two seasons, will finish the school year at El Camino and enroll at CU in the summer.
"Going to a Pac-12 school that I've loved my whole life and wanted to be at is just breathtaking," said Perry, who measured at just under 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds during his visit.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Perry said he's always been a fan of the USC Trojans. But, he also grew up loving the Buffaloes, because his aunt is a CU graduate and he said, "She's always spoken highly about it and put it in my mind early."
A 2017 graduate of Pacific Palisades (Calif.) High School, Perry racked up 123 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and five fumble recoveries as a senior. He didn't meet the NCAA academic qualifications, however, so he had to go the junior college route.
As a freshman at ECC, Perry said he was at a "not healthy" 250 pounds and he had an average season. Going into his sophomore year, however, he got more serious about the game and got down to around 235 pounds.
Perry got off to a slow start to this past season, but in the third game, against Los Angeles Harbor College, he recorded his first sack.
"I think that was a turning point of my season," he said. "I turned into a leader, and coach made me a captain for the next game."
He wound up being named the team MVP, with 67 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, an interception (which he returned for a touchdown) and two forced fumbles. Most of that was done in the final nine games. He also averaged 39.5 yards on 57 punts — a skill he developed through rugby.
"The results show that I'm lucky to be in the position where I had multiple places to go to college," he said. "I made the best decision I could and I can't wait."
CU almost wasn't an option for him, though.
Perry said CU has been in contact with him for a while, but the previous coaching staff — led by head coach Mike MacIntyre, who was fired Nov. 18 — told him there wasn't a need for an inside linebacker.
That changed when the Buffs hired Mel Tucker as head coach last month, however.
Perry said Hawaii and Texas-San Antonio were very high on his list, but once the Colorado offer came in, he knew where he wanted to go.
Perry will bring a unique skill set to CU because of his background in rugby. He's a member of the USA Rugby team, playing for the men's Junior All-Americans, and believes his rugby experience has made him a better tackler, while also sharpening the instincts he needs at linebacker.
"The physicality you need for rugby is one thing, but being able to control that and being able to work under fatigue is the biggest thing for me," he said. "Rugby tackling is big for me, being able to get a guy down right away. It's really efficient too, because sometimes you need more of a form tackle to get somebody down rather than just trying to run straight through them."
Combining his football and rugby talent has put Perry in a position to play for the Buffs, and he's eager to get started this summer.
"I can't wait to get in there and have a great partnership with (the coaches) and show them everything I have to offer," he said.