Linebacker Ready to Play

Arkansas flipped middle linebacker Otha Peters late in the process, but "early" might be the key word in how the Louisiana product figures into Razorback plans.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino gave credit to two of the newest coaches on the Arkansas staff for the work on middle linebacker signee Otha Peters.

The Covington, La., product was committed to Tennessee until the last couple of days. He flipped to the Razorbacks after a weekend visit. He might be equipped to play early on an Arkansas defense that lost Jerry Franklin and Jerico Nelson.

"He's got a great chance to play early," Petrino said Wednesday. "He's got the speed and the strength. He's physically ready.

"Taver Johnson and Kevin Peoples did a great job on him. His mother's alma mater was the other school and they did a great job of recruiting him."

Johnson came aboard in early January as the new middle linebackers coach. Peoples moved into the defensive tackles slot before the bowl game.

"I'd say it was a group recruiting project," Johnson said. "I'd say it truly takes a village. We got started a little late, but it worked out."

Johnson said Peters brings a lot to the table.

"He's got the intangibles," Johnson said. "He has the passion it takes to play the game. He's serious. He loves football.

"He asked me questions and his stare was burning a hole through my skull. He was very interested in what I had to say."

At 6-2, 225, Peters is developed, but may still add a few pounds.

"I'd say he will be 235 before you know it," Johnson said. "But he's very strong and very fast already. He has speed and is very physical.

"But he's still young, only 17. But when you look at him at 225, it's a put-together 225. What I like is that he wants to make sure he's everything he can be. He's a very good player."

Otha Peters has a chance to play early at Arkansas.

Taver Johnson said it was a group effort to recruit Otha Peters.

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