Dolphins rookie Malcolm Perry enjoyed his time at the Naval Academy and no doubt learned a lot of important lesson during his time there, but he clearly gave a lot to the football program in return.
In addition to being a record-setting quarterback, Perry provided some great leadership, leadership that still will be felt even though he's now gone to the NFL.
Perry Olsen, who backed up Malcolm Perry last season, seems like the leading candidate to take over as Navy quarterback and he left no doubt as to the impact the Dolphins seventh-round pick had on him.
“It was awesome,” Olsen said. “It was like having an older brother. He really took me under his wing and showed me a lot of things only players can really show you from being out there on the field. There are countless things the coaches can teach you, but some things don’t really come to light until Malcolm would sit down and talk me through some things. He definitely has a lot of advice and I am forever indebted to him for that.”
Perry's list of accomplishments at Navy, particularly in 2019 when he was named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, is quite long.
• As a senior, he rushed for a school-record 2,017 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2019, making him only the second player (Keenan Reynolds) in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season three times, the first player in school history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season and the first quarterback in FBS history to rush for 2,000 yards or more in a single season.
• Perry rushed for 4,359 yards in his career, which is the second most in school history.
• In 2019, Perry finished second in the nation in rushing (155.2 yds/gm) and fourth in rushing yards per carry (6.84 yds/carry).
• Perry had 26 explosive runs (runs of 20 yards or more), which was the most in the country.
• Perry's 2,017 rushing yards in 2019 are the most in FBS history for a quarterback and the 24th most in FBS history by a player at any position.
• His 304 yards rushing against Army are the second-most in school history, the most against an FBS opponent in program history and the fifth-most by a quarterback in FBS history.
While Perry said it was midway through the 2019 season that he started thinking about the NFL as a realistic possibility, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said he realized the kind of athlete Perry was when he was a sophomore and had two games with 250 rushing yards or more.
"What he did last year, it happened because we gave him a chance," Niumatalolo said. "He was already a talented young man and some of the questions that NFL scouts were asking, just more about his personality, work ethic, leadership, what kind of hands does he have? And he actually has really good hands. Yeah, we saw early on in his career that he was a special player.”
Thanks to RavenCountry Publisher Todd Karpovich for his help with this report.
Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @apoupartFins.