(Eds: Updates.) By DAVID BRANDT AP Sports Writer LaDarius Perkins isn't the kind of player who scares a Southeastern Conference defense.
Generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, he's not the prototype for an every-down running back. But he certainly has speed, strength, and most importantly, he has the backing of fourth-year Bulldogs' coach Dan Mullen as the team prepares for its season-opening game Saturday against Jackson State.
''I've seen him step into that role,'' Mullen said. ''He's performing at a very high level.''
Perkins has waited his turn in the backfield behind previous starter Vick Ballard, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards over the past two seasons combined and is now with the Indianapolis Colts. Ballard was almost a picture-perfect SEC back, standing 6 foot, 215 pounds, and equipped with a downhill running style that inflicted as much pain as he received.
Now it's Perkins' turn. He was a solid s...