September 11, 2011

Peterson impressed by atmosphere

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While the list of big-time visitors for the Toledo game wasn't quite as long as it was for the opener against Akron, some huge names were still in attendance on Saturday afternoon. One of the biggest names in attendance was Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne center/defensive tackle Lovell Peterson. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound prospect made a last minute decision to head to Columbus and he came away impressed with the atmosphere at Ohio Stadium.

"It was a pretty good game," said Peterson. "I liked the atmosphere of the game. A lot of the fans were going crazy and were excited for the game. I had actually planned on going to the Penn State/Alabama game until I got the game invite for Ohio State."

Peterson hasn't been out to many college football games yet but his experience at Ohio State tops the list from what he has seen so far.

"The only other games I've really been to are the (Cincinnati) games from last year," he explained. "Ohio State was just so different, it was just crazy. The fan (support) is just a little bit bigger and louder at Ohio State. The fans never take a break and that's what I like. You can't play a football game without the fans, you feed off the fans and I think that's one of the most important things when you're out there."

Peterson spoke with many of the coaches after the game and continues to build a strong relationship with the staff at Ohio State.

"I talked to most of the offensive coaches," Peterson explained. "Coach (John) Peterson, coach (Jim) Bollman, and I talked to some of the academic advisors. They all seemed pretty nice and they all just wanted to give me some information about the school and the program and stuff like that."

Peterson was also able to speak with a few of the other recruits at the game, including another underclassman from Greater Western Ohio Conference.

"I talked to a couple of (recruits)," he said. "I could have swore Glenville sent their entire team to the game. I talked to Thaddeus (Snodgrass) from Springfield, me and him grew up together playing football and stuff and me and him are close friends."

On the recruiting front, Peterson is still holding his one offer but that will likely be changing in the near future.

"Illinois is still my only offer," he explained. "I'm still getting tons and tons of letters from a whole bunch of schools. I'm getting tons of stuff from Alabama, Penn State, Ohio State, and I'm getting invited to tons of games too."

Peterson still maintains a top two of Alabama and Ohio State (in no particular order) and says that both schools bring many of the same traits to the table.

"It's just the fact that (Alabama) has a tradition of winning," he explained. "The same with Ohio State, no matter what happens to them or who they graduate, they come back the next year and they're winning."

Peterson isn't positive what other visits he might make this fall but other than Alabama, he doesn't anticipate that he will leave the Midwest region.

"I know that I'm going to try and go to an Alabama game," he said. "That's probably going to be the farthest I actually go out for a football game. If I go to any other games it will probably be within a five-hour area. I don't want to go all the way across the country for a football game."

On the field, Peterson and his Wayne teammates finally got in the win column this weekend with a victory over Sir Frederick Banting from Ontario, Canada. Wayne is in a tough spot with a 1-2 record in the toughest region in Ohio, Region 4, and Peterson knows his team probably needs to win out to have a chance at the post-season.

"I don't know why we do this to ourselves but we do it almost every year," Peterson said. "We lose two games and then we have to struggle to make the playoffs. Last year we lost to Springfield and we realized that if we lose another game that we're done and even if we win out we still might not get in. We realize that this year if we lose another game, we won't make the playoffs."

Despite the poor record the first three games, Peterson has been playing at a high level on both sides of the football and his outstanding play on each side of the ball is starting to draw comparisons to another recent big-time Dayton area prospect, Ohio State's Michael Bennett. Peterson didn't shy away from such comparisons and considers Bennett a friend.

"He did play defense and he did play offense and he's a thrower (track and field) just like me," he said. "We know each other pretty well and we're pretty good friends just because of track meets the last two years."

Peterson is the No. 4 ranked player in the class of 2013 Ohio rankings.


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