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December 18, 2011
Peterson's Time in Norman Comes Full Circle
It seems only fitting that Wagoner, Okla. cornerback Kevin Peterson's story should end at the same place it began.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback first stepped into the recruiting spolight in the summer of 2010 prior to his junior year for the Bulldogs. Though at times he looked a bit out of his element playing in a man-to-man camp setting he clearly made an impression on then first-year assistant Willie Martinez.
Roughly 18-months later it was time for Martinez to return the favor.
"My decision (to commit to Oklahoma) was a collection of everything really. Talking to coach Martinez through the day, what he had to say - it really stood out to me," Peterson said.
"He told me that he always wanted to offer me, but coach (Bob) Stoops had not seen film before and when we were at dinner he talked how they would use me and later that night he took Colin Blake and I and showed us what they would do with us in the secondary.
"They were saying we'd be playing if we put the work in and did what we needed to. They'd like us to both play, and when we get there it would depend on how we would work.
"It would be about how we understand things, it's how we do over the spring and the summer and the work we put in the weight room and film."
As a team that employs a defensive scheme with two very different cornerback roles it was going to interest many what side of the field Peterson could end up playing for the Sooners, boundary or field cornerback.
"They said eventually they could see me either, they could see me playing either position. They just said we just have to get you in the program and handle the weight room," he said.
The visit weekend was a big one for the Sooners and was scheduled as such due to the Sooners football banquet on Friday night being a festive event for Sooner recruits to see a lighter side of Oklahoma football. Unfortunately for Peterson, due to a basketball game, he was unable to get to the banquet and arrived at 2:30 Saturday morning.
However, the lack of a large student body presence didn't deter him from an enjoyable weekend.
"Aaron Franklin was my host, he was pretty cool, we just kind of hung out, and watched some games, we didn't do a whole lot because a lot of people were gone," he said.
"Yes sir, we had a lot of fun, got to met up with our host and just hang out with the players and coaches a lot."
So clearly things went well, but how did the commitment take place?
"It was this morning, we were eating breakfast, we went into coach Stoops' office, and he was asking about what we liked, what we didn't like," Peterson recalled.
"He told me about where he sees me at, corner, he talked about available playing time and asked me if I had any dislikes or anything I needed to say.
"I told him that I wanted to commit and my parents and I had talked about it and that was pretty much it."
The Sooner head coach has had a bit of a rocky last month on the football field but Peterson says that he and defensive coordinator Brent Venables were glad to have the latest Sooner in the fold, though Venables neglected to mention Peterson was a crucial birthday present.
"Oh yeah, they were fired up, he shook my hand, said he was really happy and that they think I can help. And coach Venables said the same thing - he didn't even mention it was his birthday!"
Over the last week Peterson has picked up an offer from not only the Sooners, Houston, and renewed interest from Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and several others. However, he says there is no reason for anymore schools to get involved.
"Oh yes sir, I feel 100-percent committed. I'm completely strong - I'm a Sooner."
And so, Peterson, who once was a young high school player learning his way on Oklahoma's rugby fields will now begin to prepare to learn his way as a young college player on Oklahoma's practice fields.