HOOVER, Ala. _ Peria Jerry got a new workout partner this spring.
He wasn’t exactly a new face, however.
Jerry, the Rebels’ 6-foot-2, 290-pound senior defensive tackle, knew Michael Oher plenty well already. He’d opposed him plenty of times on the practice field. This summer, he was assigned to push Oher to get stronger in the weight room.
“He probably outweighs me by 30 pounds,” Jerry said, laughing. “But he knows every time, I’m coming. I like it. He’s getting stronger and I think that’s a big thing for Mike.”
From all accounts, Jerry was successful, and in more ways than one.
“He’s catching up with me almost,” Jerry said. “I feel like he’s getting strong right now. I feel like if he’s with me, he’s going to want to get where I’m at. That was a great move for him.”
Jerry said he’s bench-pressing about 450 pounds right now. Oher, Jerry said, is in the 400s now.
“I’m going to try to not let him catch me,” Jerry said, laughing once again. “That would be a big thing for him. If he caught me, he’d never leave me alone.”
While Oher’s improved physical strength should help the Rebels’ running game this fall, Jerry’s improved play could give Ole Miss a dominant defensive front.