Steve Robertson -

Sophomore Jamal Peters is getting up to SEC speed at a new position.

Recruited out of Bassfield High School (MS), Jamal Peters signed on with Mississippi State as a part of a talented crop of safeties. Some suggested that Peters may grow into an outside linebacker and that his days in the defensive backfield were numbered. Now in his second season in Starkville, Peters has made the move outside alright, outside to cornerback.

"Everything is good with me," Jamal Peters said with a smile. "I feel so comfortable at corner now. Coach Buck (Terrell Buckley) keeps asking me when am I going to take over and be the starting corner."

Peters was a little concerned about the move when first approached. In time, the talented sophomore embraced the change of position and focused his energies on learning a new set of checks and calls.

"It was kind of hard at first, when I first got over there," Peters said. "I had to learn the plays and learn how to play the leverages and stuff. I had to learn how to use my hands, because before I was just trying to focus on my footwork. I feel like I have gotten a lot better with using my hands."

Playing corner is a new experience for Peters. A high school linebacker, receiver and safety, Peters had to learn how to play outside the numbers and begin to learn the nuances of a new position. 

"At corner, the main thing you have to do is put your hands on them," Peters said. "You know you're going to have safety help over the top, so you can use your hands and be physical. If I do my job and then the safeties do theirs, then I know we're good."

Having lined up on the hash as a college safety, Peters understands what his former position mates are expecting from corners. Now that he has lined up all over the Bulldog secondary, Peters has been able to communicate with the other defensive backs with ease.

"I know if I have safety help in come coverages, I have to play outside," Peters said. "I know if he goes in and tries to run a post, I can get inside and run the receiver down. I know I can play inside in some coverages and sometimes I am going to be in man. 

"I know what the safeties are doing and now that I know what the corners are supposed to do, it's getting a lot easier. Playing the game is easy now. I talk with Mark (McLaurin) a lot. We are used to playing together now, so we know how to communicate."

The former four star reports that his transition to corner has been made easier by his new position coach. Buckley has made Peters feel welcomed in the Mississippi State corners' room.

"Coach Buckley is like a father to me," Peters said. "He is so laid back. He will get on to you though and that's something I look for. I want a coach like that. He is always telling me that I am this close to making it. He is always telling me the things that I need to do and I am always excited to go out there and work for him.

"I am glad that he is my coach. He compares me to Xavier Rhodes. He said that he has never coached anybody like me with my size and speed. I know that he played in the league, so for him to say that is important to me."

While some players have a plan on how they expect things to go, Peters has spent time this calendar year lining up on both sides of the ball and now at two different spots in Peter Sirmon's secondary. Now pressing SEC receivers, Peters feels at home.

"I am so excited to be playing corner," Peters said. "I look forward to the games. Every time, he tells me to get the big receiver and that's what I am looking for. It's alright to hold the smaller receivers. but I like holding the big receivers. I am looking for a good match-up out there. I want the best one."

This week, Peters will have the chance to defense some bigger and older players from BYU. The Bulldogs will fly out on Thursday and prepare to play the Cougars in a Friday night affair in the Bulldogs' final road non-conference game on the regular season slate.

"They're big," Peters said. "They have some receivers that are 6-4 and 6-5 and they have a great running back. They are a great team and I am looking forward to going to Utah and matching up with them."

The Bulldogs (2-3) have been up and down a bit on both sides of the ball. Through five weeks, Coach Dan Mullen and his team are still looking for their first complete game. The Bulldogs have shown flashes, but have yet to put four full quarters of quality play together.

"We need to have a sense of urgency and we can't get down on one big play," Peters said. "If we do what we need to do we can be a great defense. Right now, we are looking towards putting a full game together on defense and finding a way to play our best."

Mississippi State and BYU will tee it up at Friday night at 9:15 central time. The Bulldogs need a win in the worst way if they expect to continue their school record bowl streak that currently stands at six consecutive post season games.

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