Jerry Peralte is entering his senior year at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. As an outside linebacker, he recorded 65 total tackles (35 solo) 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, six QB hurries, two pass break-ups, and caused two interceptions. A small school prospect, he’s using a solid stat-line to stand out as a prospect for NFL scouts coming into this season.
Jerry took the time to speak with myself and Locker Room Update about his background in football, as well as his aspirations in the sport. Check it out!
When did you first fall in love with playing football?
I remember when I was like 12 years old playing street football and loving the game. But honestly I fell in love with the game my senior year in high school.
Who was your role model in football when you were growing up, and who was your role model
outside of the sport during your childhood?
My all time favorite role model in football growing up was Jerry Rice! When I was younger and didn’t know much about football but always heard of a star player in the NFL who had the same name first name as me, I was ecstatic. Little did I know his position or story until I did my little research and fell in love with the player he became while battling adversity and breaking records (38 to be exact). I was glad to have the opportunity to witness Mr. Rice in his 20 year career and inducted in the NFL HOF in 2010. Outside of sports during my childhood my role model without a doubt would be my mother. Long story short, she immigrated to the U.S in the 80s from Haiti and became a widow while raising two kids (which isn’t easy). She molded me to the man I am today, from growing up in church, sacrificing (time, money, etc), having strong faith to survive, showering me with non stop love, and being the best mother she can be!
What’s the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach has ever said to you?
I had some good coaches in the past that I am grateful for and still keep in touch till this day and some not so good coaches as well. One of those moments that really stood out to me was my senior year at Calvary Christian Academy high school (PA) my head coach Mike Reichenbach (former Eagles Linebacker ’84-’89) once sat me down and said to me “Jerry, you have something special other kids don’t have and the athletic ability. I know God has a plan for you whether its with football or without. You just have to utilize it and spread God’s word.” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Why choose East Stroudsburg University?
Coming out of high school I wasn’t highly recruited because I played half of my senior season (6 out of 12 games) and my grades weren’t the best, but had some opportunities from junior colleges and prep schools across the country to play. I chose to attend a junior college called LA Pierce College in Southern California. After junior college I took a year off to be with my ill mother who was battling cancer at the time and decided to attend a program that’s close to home and I can make an immediate impact. My former high school head coach/mentor Mike Reichenbach played a pivotal role as well as he brought to my attention his Alma mater East Stroudsburg University, which defense at the time had a scheme of a 4-3 and seemed a perfect fit for me.
Who in the NFL do you see as a role model for what you want to accomplish in football, and why?
Playing for a small school, I look at players who overcame the so called “small school player” talent, for example Jahri Evans G (Bloomburg), Robert Mathis DE (Alabama A&M), Brent Grimes C (Shippensburg), London Fletcher LB (John Carroll), Malcolm Butler C (West Alabama) and many more. I just want to be the best player I can possible be with this season coming up and the rest of the pieces will be put together. That’s what I can say about those guys I just name, their ability to play the game no matter what level and gaining respect while overcoming adversity because I’m sure it wasn’t easy or handed.
If an NFL scout were to walk up to you and give you ten seconds to sell yourself, what would you say?
I would say I’m a hardworking, accountable, passionate in what I do, great potential, dedicated, coachable (still room to grow), will do anything for the team, blue collar, love the game, love to play special teams, give me an opportunity and won’t regret it.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Playing pro football, married, spreading God’s word, enjoying life, impacting my community by giving back.
And to close, what’s the most important thing about you off the field that makes you a better player on the field?
I hold myself accountable in what I do on the field and off. There’s always a limit and I try my best to push it past it even if I’m a little hard of myself.