OU football: Ronnie Perkins remaining engaged through suspension, Alex Grinch says
NORMAN — Ronnie Perkins won't be on the field for OU on Saturday against Kansas State.
Perkins, along with wide receiver Trejan Bridges and running back Rhamondre Stevenson, continues to serve an NCAA suspension for what sources have said was a positive test for marijuana before last season's Peach Bowl.
But Sooners defensive coordinator Alex Grinch said Perkins is handling things well and is ready to go once his suspension ends.
"We talk about event plus response equals outcome," Grinch said. "There's an event. OK, what's your response gonna be? Ultimately, that's what you're response is going to be based on what outcome that you want. He wants to be one of the best players that played at Oklahoma.
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"That's what he does. Can he do it this Saturday? No. But in terms of his work ethic, in terms of his want-to, in terms of his leadership approach, when guys have issues, what families do is they put their arm around him and say, it's not OK, but by the same token, you say, OK, you're a member of this family and we're going to stick by each other and we're going to see it through."
Perkins was second on the Sooners with 13.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks as a sophomore last season, starting 13 games at defensive end.
Grinch said Perkins remains a strong leader on OU's defense and safety Pat Fields, the Sooners' defensive captain, said Perkins has remained engaged.
"He's just done a great job with being who he's always been and that's a guy, whenever he's on the football team, he's going hard. If he's on scout team, he's giving a phenomenal look for the offense. If he's with the regular defense, he's creating pressure up front for us," Fields said. "He's just a guy that's always been vocal and since he's kind of stepped back since he's not on the field for us, that allows him to see things up front. If a younger guy makes a mistake, he's there to correct them and help give them pointers. If there's something that we could be doing better defensively, he points those things out to us. It's kind of helped him be able to see things from a different perspective."