March 24, 2011

Peterson ready to check out Ohio State

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It's still very early for the class of 2013 but Lovell Peterson has already established himself as one of the top prospects in Ohio for the class. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive lineman from Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne was a first team all-Greater Western Ohio Conference selection as a sophomore and is already a multi-year starter for the Warriors.

Given Peterson's outstanding size and production and the history that Wayne has of producing outstanding college football prospects, it comes as no surprise that Peterson is already hearing from plenty of college programs.

"I've been talking to Cincinnati for a while, I went to a couple of their football games and one of their basketball games," explained Peterson. "I've also talked to (coaches from) Michigan. I've talked to Jim Tressel once at Ohio State. I've got mail from Indiana, West Virginia, and Michigan State."

Peterson had a chance to get a feel for Ohio State when his Wayne team took on Canton McKinley in the Herbstreit Varsity Football Series at Ohio Stadium this past fall. Over the next couple of months, Peterson is expecting to get a much more up close look at the program and the facilities.

"(Wayne head coach Jay Minton) definitely wants to take me to the Ohio State camp," Peterson said. "He's also going to take me to one of the spring practices and show me the facilities up there. I really like the program and I just want to see what the campus is like and how they run everything."

While Peterson is still in the early stages of evaluating the schools that are recruiting him, three schools are currently sticking out to the big lineman.

"I've got probably like three schools right now that I would really like to go to," he explained. "It would probably be Ohio State, Alabama, and then probably Michigan."

Peterson's early top three shouldn't come as too much of a surprise given his background. Peterson is a childhood friend and teammate of Ohio State signee Braxton Miller, a former teammate and friend of class of 2010 Michigan signees Terrence and Terry Talbott, and is the brother of Alabama signee Trey DePriest. With friends and family at some big time programs, it might setup for a difficult decision down the road but according to Peterson, nobody is pressuring him about it right now.

"They're all really laid back about it," he said. "Because I'm a sophomore they don't really talk too much about colleges, they basically just talk to me about keeping my grades up."

On the field this past fall, Peterson made significant progress from his freshman season and used Wayne's run to the state championship game as a measuring stick for how he stacks up against some of the state's top defensive linemen.

"I believe I improved a lot from my freshman year," Peterson explained. "I feel like there's a lot that I can still work on like my strength and my speed. I believe that the playoffs showed me a lot (as far as) what I need to be doing towards setting myself up for college."

One thing that should help Peterson in the eyes of college coaches is his versatility. Peterson started off as a guard his freshman year before being moved to tackle, and then ultimately to center early in his sophomore season.

"My freshman year I started at guard and as I started getting the plays down, coach moved me to tackle," he said. "Then coming in my sophomore year, our center had dislocated his shoulder so that's why I moved to center."

For now, it looks like Peterson will remain at center on the offensive side of the football but what many may not realize is that Peterson was an outstanding defensive tackle coming up through the ranks and he's hoping to get a shot at some playing time on defense this fall.

"From day one, I've always wanted to play defense," Peterson said. "I've been begging the coaches. I've been trying to cut down on my body fat and get my speed up so that maybe I can play both ways in some games. I love defense."

Whether it's on offense or defense, Peterson is definitely one of the top sophomores in the Buckeye State that recruiting fans will need to familiarize themselves with over the next two years.


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