Last Saturday’s Pac-12 football opener in Boulder was a reunion of sorts for former Palisades High players Baraka Beckett of UCLA and Quinn Perry of Colorado.
Beckett, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound redhsirt sophomore offensive lineman, did not see action in his first year with the Bruins in 2018 and was a member of the scout team last season. He received Division I offers from the University of Idaho, Hawaii, UC Davis, UNLV, Cornell and Columbia.
Beckett transferred from Windward School to Palisades his senior year, played guard and was named a 247 Sports and ESPN.com three-star recruit after being credited with 35 tackles (9.5 tackles for loss), 2.0 sacks and returned two fumbles for touchdowns to help the Dolphins go 8-4 and reach the quarterfinals of the City Division I playoffs. He was named to the Fox Sports/SoCal Prep Insider All-City football squad, and was a Blue-Grey All-American. In his junior season at Windward he had a team-best 83 tackles (40 solo, 43 assisted) with five sacks and three pass deflections in nine games. He also lettered in track and field (shot put) and founded a non-profit foundation to educate disadvantaged children in Africa.
Perry, a 6-2, 240-pound inside linebacker, dressed for 11 of 12 games last fall and saw action on the kick return team against UCLA, earning a redshirt season under the new rules. He was named Special Teams Scout of the Week leading into the Washington State game. He earned second-team All-SCFA Central League honors at El Camino College in Torrance and paced the Warriors to the conference championship with an 8-3 record and a trip to the CCCAA playoffs. In his junior college career he played in 22 games, posted 100 tackles (53 solo), had 11 tackles for losses, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception and was named Team MVP as a sophomore when he had 67 tackles, five sacks, a fumble recovery, an interception and four punt blocks.
Perry earned first-team All-City honors as a senior at Palisades in 2016, piloting the Dolphins to the City Division I quarterfinals while posting 123 tackles, including 24.5 for loss and eight sacks, along with three forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and an interception return for a touchdown. On offense he had 12 catches for 242 yards and three touchdowns. As a junior, he had 55 tackles and two fumble recoveries and he was the team’s punter as a junior and senior, kicking 57 times for 2,303 yards (40.4 average) over both seasons. He also played on the U16, U17, U18 and U20 USA National Rugby team.
Also on UCLA’s roster is Palisadian Collin Flintoft, a sophomore punter who starred at Loyola High.
On Saturday, it was the host Buffaloes who got the last laugh, building an early 28-point lead on their way to a 48-42 victory. Colorado travels west to Stanford on Saturday afternoon while UCLA hosts Utah in another Pac-12 matchup Saturday night.
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