Jeremy Perry spent three seasons with the Tennessee State University football team. In May 2011, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 3.7 GPA and a bachelor's degree in Communications. He spent his final season on the football field as a graduate student, where he currently holds a 4.0 GPA. He was a two-time member of the OVC Commissioners Honor Roll and a three-time selection on the President's List (4.0 GPA). The Memphis, Tenn., native played in 21 games for the Big Blue, amassing 2,313 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career.
TSUTigers sat down with Jeremy to talk about his TSU experience.
TSUTigers: Talk about your overall TSU experience.
J. Perry: As a transfer, my TSU experience was challenging and adventurous. Meeting new teammates that embraced me was a huge step in my adaptation to a new environment. I made friends and made memories that will last a lifetime. My experience really broke my shell and allowed me to find my strengths and weaknesses.
TSUTigers: What do you love most about TSU?
J. Perry: I love TSU's dedicated professors. I will not venture to say that every professor has a true investment in their students, but I have had a great working relationship with most of my teachers. This is very important to a student's growth academically.
TSUTigers: What will you miss most about TSU?
J. Perry: I will miss hearing the band play as I get ready to play in a football game. The band had a way of getting our team to feel enthusiastic about playing anybody. It's almost a feeling of being invincible.
TSUTigers: What is your most memorable football moment at TSU?
J. Perry: My most memorable football moment at TSU is playing in the 2010 Atlanta Classic. Just the energy of that dome was an amazing feeling. Looking up to the seats and seeing so many TSU fans competing with FAMU fans gave me an inner feeling of pride. It had been several years since we had a won in this classic, therefore, beating FAMU in this classic brought a deep sense of excitement for me.
TSUTigers: What is your most memorable non- football at TSU?
J. Perry: My most memorable non- football moment was walking across the stage to graduate on my birthday. Receiving a degree was the best birthday present I have ever received. The thoughts of each college accomplishment I had were all compiled on this one day, and I knew the journey was worth it.
TSUTigers: How do you feel social networking this season play a part in the season?
J. Perry: Social networking is an element that has become an intricate part of our society; therefore, it could not be avoided when it came to game days. We got tweets of encouragement before the game, and tweets of positive or negative criticism after the game. It's fun to have an everyday connection with fellow students and fans. I think this connection affects every player differently. It can be overwhelming for some people, but I think overall it just served as motivation.
TSUTigers: Do you have a favorite TSU fan/supporter? If so, who?
J. Perry: My favorite fans are my parents because I know their demeanor towards will be consistent. They have always been honest with me, and I know through ups and downs of success they will remain faithful.
TSUTigers: What advice would you give to incoming freshman?
J. Perry: My advice for incoming freshman is learning how to sacrifice. The fun will be there every day and night, but the biggest priority should be growing as student. The knowledge received in a college education will carry students into the professional world with the capability to be effective. That effectiveness in society will allow needed changes to be made, but this can only happen through sacrificing to take care of business before pleasure.
TSUTigers: What was your most challenging class at TSU?
J. Perry: My most challenging class at TSU was Black Arts and Literature given by Dr. Springfield. Many days she abruptly ended responses to in-class questions. People tried to refer to the book as their source, and she responded by saying she wrote the book. I struggled to stay afloat in this class, but I managed to pull out a "B".
TSUTigers: You completed your bachelor's degree last year and played your final season as a graduate student. Talk about that experience.
J. Perry: Playing football in graduate school was very beneficial to me because all of my classes were at night. This allowed me to study film and focus on football throughout the day. It was a pleasure to know I was able to work on a second degree while still participating in the sport that I love. This opportunity is not granted to most student athletes, but I was placed in a unique situation and it worked in my favor.
TSUTigers: What are you studying in graduate school?
J. Perry: I am currently studying Sports Administration in graduate school.
TSUTigers: What organizations were you a part of besides football?
J. Perry: I am a member of the Golden Key Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes
TSUTigers: Who have been the most influential people to you at TSU?
J. Perry: The most influential people to me at TSU have been professor Darren Taylor, Mr. Lee Brown, Professor Rico X.
TSUTigers: What's next for you?
J. Perry: I plan to complete my Master's degree in May 2013 and pursue a career in sports administration, production, or both.
TSUTigers: Once you are an alumnus, how will you stay connected with TSU?
J. Perry: I plan on staying connected with TSU through sports. This is my greatest avenue to stay connected to the school. I value the future of student athletes because I have been in those shoes and know the struggles that come with balancing academics and athletics. I want to remain involved with athletics and FCA. It is important that alumni give insight to upcoming students because experience is the best teacher.
TSUTigers: What do you know now that you didn't know coming in as a freshman?
J. Perry: I now know the power of networking. This is the most important skill that I learned while attending TSU. As a freshman I was extremely closed to meeting new people and ideas. However, I have grown to recognize the importance of creating a network that you can be beneficial to you and others around you.
TSUTigers: What have you learned at TSU that you will keep with you for the rest of your life?
J. Perry: I have learned to respect those that opened the doors for me. Our generation has grown so complacent because of the luxuries we have been granted. Moving forward I will embrace a respect for the people that struggled for my luxury. Hopefully my struggles will open doors for those that come behind me.
TSUTigers: Is there anything else that you would like to say to the TSU family?
J. Perry: Remember that there is only one thing in life that cannot be recycled... That is time! Once God decides to take us from earth, there is no turning back. Therefore, we have to learn to embrace every second with joy because the opportunity to leave a legacy slips further away from us each day.