August 30, 2011
Film Vault: Peterson is a two-way talent
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Lovell Peterson hadn't played defensive tackle in a game in three years but you couldn't tell on Saturday night. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound prospect turned in an outstanding performance on both sides of the football in a 32-31 loss to Middletown. Peterson also continued to show his versatility along the offensive line, starting at right tackle after spending most of his sophomore season as the starting center.
Peterson is probably the most versatile line prospect in Ohio, regardless of class. Whether it's at center, offensive tackle, or defensive tackle, he flat out excels. While his overall size probably limits him to either center or defensive tackle at the college level, he definitely has the feet to pass-protect as an offensive tackle.
Physically, Peterson is in the best shape that I've seen him in at any point in his career so far, going back to his freshman season. His body composition is vastly improved from a year ago and he is much quicker and lighter on his feet because of that.
Coming into Saturday night's contest, many around Ohio (including myself), had Peterson pegged as a center at the next level. While that still may be the case, getting a glimpse of him at defensive tackle was certainly an eye opening experience. Peterson is very quick and explosive and made numerous plays in the backfield. He has the athleticism to make plays coming down the line of scrimmage and can also rush the passer from his defensive tackle position.
While maybe not quite as explosive, Peterson's performance gave me some flashbacks of watching current Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett at Centerville the last few years. Peterson checked in at No. 4 overall in our initial 2013 Ohio rankings and his performance on Saturday night did nothing to change my opinion of him as one of Ohio's elite junior prospects.
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