On Wednesday ESPN’s Kelly Naqi reported that, per a former Texas A&M coach, Willie Lyles - a Texas-based football trainer who is already under NCAA investigation after receiving $25,000 from Oregon - had told the Aggies staff that it had to "beat" $80,000 if it wanted to sign star recruit Patrick Peterson in 2007.
Peterson, a five-star cornerback coming out of Miami, Fla., said that he never officially visited the Texas A&M campus and that he had no knowledge of Lyles or his proposal to the Aggies staff. After spending time in Houston with his father during August of 2007, Peterson tripped to College Station for an unofficial visit. At the time he was committed to the Miami Hurricanes.
“I have never had any type of relationship with Willie Lyles and he had no influence on my decision to attend LSU, or any other school for that matter,” Peterson said in a statement released by LSU on Thursday. “He had no involvement with my recruiting process and I resent the fact that my name has come up in these allegations.”
Peterson used his official visits during the fall of 2007 to take in Florida (Sept. 14), LSU (Oct. 19), Georgia (Nov. 9), North Carolina (Dec. 7) and USC (Dec. 1), but in the end it was the Tigers who landed the No. 1 cornerback prospect’s pledge during a live broadcast of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that January.
On Thursday, Peterson maintained that he committed to LSU without receiving any benefits.
“I chose LSU because it’s a great school with a great football program,” he said. “I never received nor was I offered anything to go to LSU and anyone saying otherwise is being dishonest.”
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