RECRUITING: Peters makes the grade

Jason Peters of Baton Rouge (LA) Catholic is not your normal all-star high school defensive end. He is relentless chasing quarterbacks from his defensive end position and when it comes to academics, he's equally relentless when it comes to learning. As much as he loves football, he loves to learn. Chances are he will be able to choose from academic or athletic scholarships.

(See Jason Peters profile)

In a junior year shortened by hurricanes, the 6-3, 255-pounder had 10 sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, 58 total tackles and three forced fumbles while making first team All-State in Louisiana. He was no slouch in the classroom, either, and he's taking the momentum of such an exceptional junior year into a senior season that is filled with promise.

"I have been lifting weights and just making sure I am getting myself ready for my senior season," Peters said. "My junior year went great, I finished with a 3.65. I got a 21 on the ACT but I want to get better. I am looking to major in pre-pharmacy and after that pharmacy or pre-med."

Because he's so solid in the classroom to go with such obvious athletic ability, there is no shortage of top college football programs pursuing him with the same intensity that he goes after a quarterback.

"I am interested in anyone that is interested in me," he said. "LSU, Florida, Florida State who has been sending some mail, but not as much as most schools. Auburn, Stanford, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Illinois, Arkansas, Clemson, and Georgia Tech are all recruiting me. I have offers from pretty much all of them except Florida and Florida State."

The Gators haven't offered but he is still interested.

"I hear they have a great academic program in pre-pharmacy," Peters said about the University of Florida. "The campus is beautiful and the people are good. I am just hoping I can get a chance to see it this summer some time.

If he can't make Gainesville for an unofficial visit this summer, it will probably be December or January before he has a chance to take a trip.

"I will take my officials after the season," he said. "I want to concentrate on school and my senior season. I used to play basketball but I am spending all my time on football now."

He has already started making a list of qualifications for when that decision time comes. He has a good family foundation to also help him through the process.

"It will be if I feel comfortable with the school," he said. "I want to see how they help athletes be successful in the classroom as well as on the field. Both of my parents will have a big part in my decision. They will help me decide what is best for me. Distance is not a factor."

In the meantime he will work on his game. He hopes to emulate a certain second round draft choice of the Seattle Seahawks from April's NFL draft.

"I hope to resemble that defensive end form Virginia Tech named Darryl Tapp," Peters said. "He isn't the biggest, but he is powerful and quick off the edge. He pursues the ball well. I just look at guys like that and he can beat these 350-pound linemen."

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