Bryce Perkins and Terrell Chatman have had a connection for nearly five years, going back to when they were fellow Arizona State signees prior to the 2015 football season.
It took a little longer for them to have a pass connection. Chatman’s first touchdown reception at UVa came Friday night on a 15-yard pass from Perkins in UVa’s 52-17 victory over William and Mary.
Unlike Perkins, who never played at Arizona State and enrolled in junior college while rehabbing from a neck injury, Chatman logged three seasons at ASU.
He played in a total of 13 games, did not start a game and had a total of three receptions. His lone touchdown came on a 10-yard pass against UTSA.
According to Rivals.com, Chatman was a three-star signee on a five-star scale coming out of Central High School in Baton Rouge. His three official visits were to TCU, Miami and Arizona State.
In an Arizona State recruiting class that boasted seven four-star recruits, Perkins was one of Chatman’s fellow three-stars. They had stayed in touch over the years, as Chatman completed his graduation while holding open a year of eligibility.
“I’m not sure how it first started,” UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday. “It might have been from Bryce when he saw that Chatman had put his name in the [NCAA] transfer portal.”
Perkins said Monday that he didn’t go looking for Chatman in the transfer portal but knew that he was in it.
“Being so close, I kind of knew that he was looking at transferring,” Perkins said. “I’m proud of him. Every time he touches the field, I can see the joy in his face. When we were at ASU in our redshirt [freshman] year, he could have been on the field.
“I told [the UVa staff] that there’s a receiver trying to transfer, and we were definitely looking for a deep threat kind of guy on the outside and I said that he fit the description. I talked to Terrell and told him that ‘we can definitely use you and you’ll love it here.’ ”
Chatman got another endorsement from UVa strength coach Shawn Griswold, who previously held that position at Arizona State while Chatman was a Sun Devil.
With four receptions at this point, Chatman (6-3, 190 pounds) already has exceeded his career total at Arizona State.
“It makes me feel like all my hard work is paying off,” Chatman said. “For guys to speak so highly of me, I really appreciate it. My biggest emphasis for this year is having fun with the game. To sit out for such a long time, I felt I could have produced more.
“Knowing Bryce, the transition coming in from Arizona was kind of easy. Bryce has so much respect here and that kind of translated to my teammates. [Giving up] never crossed my mind. I wasn’t raised like that.