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Josh Perry - NBC and B10 Broadcaster

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July 13, 2023 9:17 pm

Josh Perry - NBC and B10 Broadcaster

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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July 13, 2023 9:17 pm

Joe Perry joins Zach to preview the Big 10 this year as part of this weeks edition of CFB Fix

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What's wrong with your ears? Here is your College Football Fix, only on The Zach Gelb Show. Alrighty, College Football Fix time. Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio.

We'll head out to the guest line right now. Welcome in one of our favorites. You've seen him for years, Big Ten Network, Bally Sports as well. And now he has a big, big, big broadcasting opportunity as he's going to be a part of NBC for their Big Ten coverage this year.

And that is former Ohio State linebacker and national champion in Joshua Perry. Josh, appreciate the time as always. Congratulations on the new gig and how are you? I'm doing well.

I appreciate the congratulations. I'm getting really excited. College Football right around the corner. We've already got some conferences doing their media days right now. This is an exciting time of the year. So for you, you've had a pretty quick rise in broadcasting.

And I always love talking to you because you're so prepared and you're entertaining as well. I know you were in the NFL and unfortunately suffered a bunch of concussions and then walked away from the game. What made you think that, okay, you could be not only a good broadcaster but make a career out of it?

You know, this was an accident, honestly. So I left the league in 2018 and I went back home to Columbus, Ohio when I started selling real estate. So I was sitting in a real estate class and the general manager from the radio station at the flagship for Ohio State called me and said, hey, I've got an opportunity. We've got a seat open if you want to do a pregame show. It was really the pre-pregame show for the Ohio State games. We'd love to have you. I was like, I've never done this before.

He said you'll be fine. So I did it and then I picked up a couple of local TV shifts doing high school football on Friday nights. I was doing like a six-hour show that had these live look-ins all across the state. And then I got to do a postgame show that nobody really watched for Ohio State games.

And I was just able to accumulate reps and build it up that way. I had an agent who sent out my tape and then one thing leads to another and I'm able to continue to get jobs. Biggest thing for me, I absolutely love this. I tell people all the time, this is something I would do for free if I was sitting at a bar and somebody asked me a football question. And I get a paycheck to do it. So one of the luckiest guys around but stars align at some point and that's what happened for me. And it's got to be surreal for you that you're going to be working for NBC this year.

It's amazing. Again, another one of those opportunities and you know how this business goes. But a lot of it is right place at the right time. And my contract with BTN was coming up and obviously with the new media rights deal there were some people that were hiring. And I was able to get in front of some decision makers and obviously put my best foot forward. But for me to be able to be on a national broadcast where I'm able to honor the game and the conference and the universities that I played against, one that I played for on a big platform is what's fun for me. And it's never lost upon me that there are a lot of players out there where this is going to be the last thing that they do. Playing college football is going to be the pinnacle for them. And every Saturday is a chance to celebrate them.

So I'm really excited to do that. Talking to Joshua Perry right now, part of NBC's coverage of Big Ten football this year. Let's get to your alma mater, Ohio State. We know how good they've been under Ryan Day. But the last two years they've lost to Michigan and those games haven't been close. I know Day hasn't lost many games during his tenure as the coach of the Buckeyes. But some fans are wondering if he's the right guy to find a way to get Ohio State back to where they should be against Michigan. What do you say to the Ohio State fan that may be starting to lose patience with Ryan Day?

I get it, but let's hold the phone here. So you mentioned Coach Day hasn't lost a lot of games. Ryan Day has gone in there. He obviously took over a program that was in a really good spot. But he's had a ton of success and I think that matters. And we can even talk about postseason success where he's made it to a national championship game. He's been in the college football playoff three times. He's won a Rose Bowl, which I know the expectation anymore at Ohio State isn't to win Rose Bowls. He's been a really good coach and I think a lot of people kind of cooled on some of their anger with the loss still. But the performance against Georgia, I think, folks really says it's a team that can still compete at a national level.

Now, I think a lot of people are not going to be satisfied if Ohio State continues to lose to Michigan. And obviously, Michigan is a program that has stepped up over the last couple of years and really become a national power and a contender once again. But Ryan Day has done a lot of things extremely well. First of all, he's developing quarterbacks. Second of all, getting an offense together.

And then early on in his career, too, he had Jeff Halfley, who was one of the best defensive coordinators in America. And I think people believe that Jim Knowles can kind of bring some of that back in his second year or so. I know college football isn't patient anymore, which is a shame. I think you can also look to the rival up north if you're an Ohio State fan and see what patience did for them and where that program is now. So, like, Ryan Day is a really good head coach.

He's going to be there. I think Ohio State fans should be fortunate to have him around. When you look at Michigan this year, we know all the players that they're returning. Is Michigan ready to take that next step? That's the big question, where they've shown they get to two college football playoffs, they've been able to win two Big Ten championships, but can they go make a run and actually get to the championship game and win it? I think they can, but I think some things need to change.

And in the day and age we're in in college football right now, I think you need to be able to play basketball on the football field a little bit. And, you know, it's not to say that teams who run the ball or have a run emphasis can't win a title, because Georgia ran it pretty well, but they also had a quarterback back there who was extremely crafty and some really good wide receivers, especially at the end of the year once they got healthy. I think their offense is going to have to go through a bit of an evolution. I think J.J. McCarthy has all the tools to allow that to happen.

He's just got to continue to develop. The wide receivers, I think, are still a place where Michigan can continue to get better, but I think they've got a defense that's ready right now. I think they've got a running back room that's ready right now. I think they've got an offensive line that's ready right now. So to answer your question, yeah, they can absolutely do it.

I do think that there's still work to be done. But they've also reframed their program too. They're talking about having to beat Georgia period in practice. And this is a program a few years ago that wasn't talking about winning national titles, and I think that shows you from a psychology standpoint where they are right now. So they've got some big games on the schedule in Penn State and Ohio State. Outside of that, a lot of games where they can go out there and tinker with what their philosophy has been and find that right balance to have an offense that's not just putting up points by really grinding you, but an offense that's extremely explosive, it can hurt you in multiple ways. How big of a gap do you think it is right now between Michigan and Ohio State?

I don't think the gap is very wide at all. It's a very intriguing study when you do it because I think a lot of people would look at Ohio State and say, from a talent perspective, Ohio State's got the edge, and you can look at recruiting rankings and blue chip, and you can look at the drafted, all kinds of different things that say Ohio State's got talent. I think from a philosophy standpoint, Ohio State had evolved their team so much to be able to compete with some of the basketball and the football field type teams that weren't necessarily big up front in the trenches defensively. They had a little bit more of a pass-first mentality offensively, which hurts your defense through practice, and I think that's where Michigan was able to carve out an edge. I think from a philosophical standpoint, they've had that edge to withstand adversity throughout the year and then to just get down and dirty and gritty. I think that's something Ohio State can do as well, and I think their strength is probably going to be in their running back room offensively outside of wide receiver with the new quarterback and new tackles they're trying to break in.

I don't think it's necessarily a wide edge, but I know in Columbus, two years feels like an eternity, and I know that people will tell you that the chasm is probably bigger than it really is. Talking to Joshua Perry, a lot of big expectations for Penn State this year. They have a loaded roster, so give credit to Franklin for the recruiting. But you look at their schedule, it's really easy outside of Michigan and Ohio State, and you know for Franklin, during his time as the head coach at Nittany Lions, 3-15 against top-10 teams and 1-10 against top-5 teams. Do you think James Franklin is going to have success this year up against those top-10 teams, which will be Michigan and then also Ohio State?

If there's a year, it's this year, right? They've got an all-world quarterback that is going to be ready to play this year, and again, you want to talk about tools and measurables. Drew Aller has them running back room loaded. They had a first rounder come back on the offensive line, didn't know if he was going to return. Defensively, a bunch of young guys got a ton of burn last year, both in the trenches and at the linebacker position. Certainly a little bit of retooling in the secondary, but I love what Manny Diaz was able to do in year one at Penn State, and I think he can take that a step further this year.

I like how everything is coming together in Happy Valley. I think there are a lot of people that consume Big Ten football that are happy that the conference is going away from divisions, because when you look at this year, what you would have to run through with Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State in the east, that is going to be a battle, and all of those teams are extremely talented. Any of them not only could win the conference, but could make some noise in a college football playoff. So, Penn State is right there in the mix.

I don't think it's just hype. I think they have a really good roster, good coaching staff, and it's just about now actually getting the job done for the Nittany Lions. Going into this season, would you rank those three teams, Michigan 1, Ohio State 2, Penn State 3?

That's exactly what I would do. I think Michigan has to have the edge in this one returning quarterback. I mentioned the offensive line, the running backs, and also the last two years, Ohio State is just entirely too talented, and I think Penn State is kind of the unproven there, even though we know they're going to be a good team, but I think that's where I'd be. So, who do you like as the fourth best team then in the Big Ten?

Oh, that's a great question. I mean, are we going to look at a Wisconsin with Luke Fickel? Do we feel like changing that offense and bringing in what they brought in through the portal is going to be enough? Do we think Nebraska had enough in the cupboard, and then you bring in a Jeff Sims, who's a really electric athlete, a quarterback under Matt Rule?

That's where things get a little bit difficult to me. If I had to give the edge, I would say the edge is toward Wisconsin. They've been one of the best teams in college football. I think the highest winning percentage of a team that's not made the college football playoff or the most wins or whatever the number is, I would go with them, but I think the West is really intriguing. I think that's where probably the fourth best team would come from.

There's a lot of newness going on there. Even Ryan Walters at Purdue off of the year that they had. I'm curious to see how it all shakes out there. Joshua Perry, you look at Mel Tucker. Two years ago, everyone was loving Mel Tucker, and now people have soured on him. Where do you think his stock is at and how he'll do this season? Because 2-5, then 11-2, 5-7, a big-time contract. People expect him to turn that around, but I don't know how likely that is this year.

I don't know how likely it is either. I think Mel is a fantastic football coach. I love the way that he handles his program in terms of the intensity and the attention to detail that he takes to his job. I think the roster situation is going to be one that he's going to have to continue to work out because he got a bunch of rentals in for a year, and it really worked out for him. Next thing you know, those guys are gone, and you don't really have anything going in the pipeline. For this year, again, you've got some guys on defense that were really important to that program that are no longer there. A quarterback that had played a lot of snaps for you that's no longer there. I don't know what it looks like, but I also think that there's something to having to go through an offseason, and everybody's telling you about how you're no good. I think that if you've got some real dudes in your locker room, you can parlay that into pulling off a couple of upsets you weren't supposed to get. Is there one team in this conference that maybe people aren't talking about that they should right now?

There's two teams, and it feels like it's been the same two teams the last couple years for me. Minnesota never gets enough credit. I think P.J. Fleck, and I know people have a thing about his personality, it doesn't change how good of a football coach he is. He is one of the most detailed humans I've ever seen at a practice, and it's like clockwork. And his teams play well because they're so well coached.

So I'm looking at them to see what they can do over there in the West that always feels like it's pretty open. And then Brett Bielema, again, another great coach, and they lost a ton, both on offense and defense. But I'm curious to see what the rebound looks like. He's got a new defensive coordinator in the building as well. But Illinois, I told people last year, watch out for that team because they're going to be much better than you give them credit for.

This year it's going to be a bigger challenge because of all the losses, but I'm excited to see what they look like. I want to get your take on the Northwestern situation. I'll preface it by saying this is what I think happened on Friday. They had the two-week suspension, thought they could sweep it under the rug. Then the student journalists did their homework, and it wasn't any new information to the university.

It just became public, and then they had to make some changes. I understand why Pat Fitzgerald lost his job. I'm not debating that, Josh, but there's a lot of others at that institution that need to lose their job as well. You know, it's a very interesting point that you bring up.

There's a lot of reflection that needs to go on there because I agree with you. And everything that had come out, it seemed like the information was known to the university, and those student journalists at the Daily Northwestern did a hell of a job. And for people who are unaware, Chicago has a lot of sports teams.

It is media market number three. The two big newspapers here in town that live in Chicago, the Tribune and the Sun-Times, they do not have a Northwestern beat. And so there are no professional journalists that cover that school. It's literally the student journalists. And they have so much power and value because they're that locked in, and I think that's also why journalism is important, neither here nor there.

So it doesn't seem like there was a lot of new information. It seems like a lot of people fumbled this scenario. I go back to the victims and the whistleblower in this situation, and I wish the best for what happens in that regard. I also think about players in that locker room, and they're probably not totally blameless because some of them were bystanders, but probably most of them weren't active participants, and now they have to pick up the pieces to the scenario as well and try to play a football season.

That's really difficult. And for Pat Fitzgerald, had the perfect job and had done really well, and it seemed like it was a place that could never fire him, and then we get this situation. I'm curious to see what litigation looks like for him because it goes back to this idea that the facts were known, and they came to an agreement that what he did that Friday, what he did was not a fireable offense or what he did or did not know, and now all of a sudden it is. So there's a lot of mess to this, but again, I like to think about that program and how they rebound and the players in that locker room, and then of course the victims and how they deal with that trauma because that hazing was serious business.

Some of the details that came out I couldn't imagine, and there are people that are going to have to deal with the real consequences of that. Yeah, and it's crazy to me, and I know there's a certain culture in football, and you make a mistake, you've got to pay for it, but how some people are like, oh, boys will be boys, and then you hear that there was dry humping going on in the locker room to make a player perform better in practice. I'm reading that, and I've been in football locker rooms at a high school level. You've been all throughout high school, college, and the NFL. That behavior to me is just never justified. No, and I've never been around anything like that either, and it's not to say that there wasn't hazing in places I've been, but it was more so the, hey, rookie, carry my pads out, or hey, go to the store and grab me some snacks type stuff. But never anything that was physical, never anything that was forced consumption of alcohol, which are some things that you see on college campuses. This was pretty startling, and to hear those details, it does not feel like those are activities that are conducive to team building and to bonding.

It's sad in that regard that anybody could try to flip it that way. He's Joshua Perry. He's going to be a superstar in the broadcasting business, already is, and you can watch him on NBC throughout the Big Ten college football season. Josh, we'll be talking to you throughout the year. I appreciate the time. I appreciate you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-13 22:17:39 / 2023-07-13 22:26:04 / 8

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