If Patrick Peterson proves anything it’s that a great athlete can have success just about anywhere on the football field.
One of the nation’s elite cornerbacks, opposing quarterbacks often won’t test their luck against the future first round draft selection. When they do, it’s turned out great for LSU. Peterson leads the team with two interceptions.
When Les Miles needed to find someone to fill the shoes of Trindon Holliday in the return game, he called on Peterson.
Once again, he didn’t disappoint. Through four games, Peterson has turned out 443 total yards, two touchdowns and a Desmond Howard-like Heisman pose in front of a raucous student section last Saturday night.
So what happens when your offense ranks 102nd in the country in production?
Move Peterson into the mix.
After Wednesday’s practice, the third in preparation for Tennessee, Miles confirmed that his star cornerback turned special teams ace is now taking practice reps on the offensive side.
“I don’t know when he will be ready, but there is some thought process there on offense,” Miles said. “He can play a number of spots for us. Let’s tell it the way it is.”
The obvious question: where does he line up?
“I think he could play tailback to be honest,” Miles said. “Certainly receiver.”
Peterson’s vision is a little more specific.
“Probably getting a slip screen or something like that,” he said. “Maybe the Wildcat.”
Outside of any stability he might add to LSU’s stumbling attack, the offensive appearance should at least add strength to Peterson’s Heisman campaign. Michigan’s Charles Woodson, the only defensive player to win the award, played defensive back, kick returner and a receiver in spots.
For a number of reasons, from ability to a misguided offense, Peterson appears headed for the same trifecta.
As for picking out a suit to wear to New York in December, LSU’s modern day Tommy Casanova is drawing the line – at least for now.
“It would definitely be an honor, but I know it's difficult for me as a cornerback to be in that race,” Peterson said. “I just got to keep doing the things that I'm doing to help this team win. I’m taking it a game at a time, and we'll see what happens at the end of the season.”
Yet every Superman has a kryptonite, and for Patrick Peterson it is cramps.
While a dehydrated PP7 couldn’t get through the game against North Carolina, the junior hasn’t sat out of action since – minus a bit of time in the second half of the West Virginia game when too many IVs left him running for the locker room.
“I kept having to go to the bathroom,” smiled Peterson. “I had too many fluids that time.”
Right now, it’s the only thing holding the 6-foot-1, 222-pounder back from playing every position on the field.
“We’re trying to figure out the number of reps and how to operate this thing,” Miles said. “We don’t want to overuse him. We want to make sure that what we have a full slate of special teams and four quarters of defense.
“Certainly in order, it would be defense, special teams and then offense.”
While Miles wouldn’t go as far as to say that Peterson would have the ball in his hands for all three phases against Tennessee, a weekend high temperature of 83-degrees certainly decreases the chance of cramps, which could translate to more time on the field for Peterson.
“A cool day would certainly enhance that opportunity,” Miles said.