The Chargers' defense is in good hands at inside linebacker with Denzel Perryman and Manti Te’o forming a potent 1-2 punch.
Last season, Te’o took the rookie Perryman under his wing and opposing offenses had no choice but to take notice. Te’o led the Chargers with 107 tackles with Perryman not far behind with 95. Perryman racked up 79 tackles in the team’s last seven games and he fell just five tackles shy of becoming the first rookie in team history to record a 100-tackle season.
Off the field, Perryman and Te’o are nearly inseparable. The two spend countless hours together whether it’s in meetings, out for a bite to eat, watching movies, or squaring off in one of their many heated video game battles.
Perryman comes from a family of football players. His father, Desmond, Sr., played linebacker and fullback at Perryman’s alma mater, Coral Gables High School. Perryman’s two older brothers, Quintero and Desmond, Jr., both played at Coral Gables as well before playing at Rutgers and North Carolina Methodist, respectively. And Perryman’s younger brother, Derrius, is currently playing at Coral Gables.
Perryman has two daughters – Ella and Evee.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Second-round pick (48) by Chargers, May 1, 2015...signed May 13.
2015: Five special teams tackles Sept. 20 at Cincinnati, most in game by Chargers player since 2011...first NFL start Oct. 18 at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field and led team with nine tackles...injured arm in first quarter Oct. 25 vs. Oakland and did not return...inactive Nov. 1 at Baltimore and Nov. 9 vs. Chicago (arm)...helped force early fourth-quarter three-and-out with 14-yard sack on 2nd-and-7 Nov. 22 vs. Kansas City...12 tackles in 31-25 win at Jacksonville Nov. 29...early-game tackle for loss contributed to three-and-out and Bolts scored touchdown on ensuing possession for first lead of game...paced squad with 15 tackles Dec. 6 vs. Denver...two tackles for loss among team-high nine tackles Dec. 13 at Kansas City...led team with 15 tackles, including nine-yard sack in first quarter, Dec. 24 at Oakland...paced squad with 12 tackles Jan. 3 at Denver.
COLLEGE: Associated Press third-team All-America as senior...honorable mention by SI.com as junior...three-time All-ACC pick – first-team as junior and senior and honorable mention as sophomore...Defensive MVP and UM Hard Hitter Award as junior...ACC Linebacker of Week after 21-16 win over No. 12 Florida in 2013...led team in tackles as junior and senior, and led ACC freshmen in tackles in 2011 as true freshman...finished career with 351 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 27 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles and two interceptions...sociology major.
PERSONAL: Born in Miami, Florida...area defensive player of year as junior at Coral Gables (Fla.) High.