November 15, 2009 12:13:00 AM
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School senior basketball player Rashad Perkins can get back to business.
After signing a national letter of intent Friday to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, Perkins is ready to concentrate on the rest of his high school season.
"It feels good to get it out of the way," Perkins said. "It takes a lot of pressure off of me because I don''t have to worry about people asking me where I''m going. I can focus on what I need to be doing."
It''s not that Perkins was having any trouble. He had a double-double in each of the first two games to lead Starkville (2-0) past Meridian and West Point. He had 16 points and 10 rebounds against West Point and 22 points and 12 rebounds against Meridian.
As a junior, Perkins averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds to help the Yellow Jackets finish 21-5. He averaged 11 points and six rebounds coming off the bench as a sophomore.
Starkville High boys basketball coach Greg Carter said Perkins has progressed from a player who could dunk into a player Rivals.com considers a three-star athlete.
"He made his decision a while back that''s where he wanted to go," Carter said. "He really liked the staff there and it''s close enough where his family and friends can go watch him play."
Mississippi State, Alabama, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham also recruited Perkins, but he said there was no doubt about his destination.
"When I went down there to visit, it just made my feelings toward them grow and it made me want to sign even more," Perkins said. "I liked everything down there from the team to the coach and the people. They showed a lot of school spirit."