Irish Still an Option For Peters

In December it appeared that Notre Dame was out of the running for defensive lineman Jason Peters from Catholic high school (Baton Rogue, La.), but with less than a month before signing day it looks like the Irish might have a shot to sign him.

Jason Peters (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) had eliminated Notre Dame as an option in late December, but that didn't deter the Notre Dame coaching staff. They want Peters, and they knew they needed to get him on campus.

"A lot has changed since then, because there is an extra weekend between signing day and my LSU visit," Peters said of the chance to visit Notre Dame February 2. "There is still a possibility for me to take a visit to Notre Dame. I've been to Georgia Tech. I'm going to Nebraska this Friday, Florida the next weekend and LSU January 27. Then there is a possibility to visit Notre Dame, but nothing is for sure right now.

"Depending on the home visit goes with coach Weis (Jan 17), and I expect it to go well, that will determine if I take my visit or not. I want to learn more about his coaching style, what he's like, and who I will be playing for. It's just an important thing to know before I go into a situation."

If Peters does eventually visit they are still facing an uphill battle. The Irish came in with a late offer to Jason and they were originally recruiting him to play defensive tackle.

"They said they are recruiting me as a defensive end, but that isn't necessarily the basis of my decision," Peters explained. "I had planned those other visits before I had talked to Notre Dame and that's why they weren't going to get a visit.

"Notre Dame is a quality school regardless of the timing of their offer. It's a great school with a lot of tradition, so their timing didn't play too much of a role, but it does make you hesitate of a little. I think my relationship with Notre Dame has gotten a lot better and the coaches and I have been talking a lot more so it makes things a lot easier and a lot smoother."

Smooth is a word to describe the game the Irish played against LSU, another school Peters is considering.

"One game doesn't make or break a team, because a team is built off more than that," he said. "It's really more about the character off the program and the pride that they have. The thing that stood out to me was coach Weis' response after the game. He said that they were going into that game to win and not just to compete. I think that's someone who doesn't care what the odds are, they're going in there fighting.

Still the Irish struggled and there have been rumors of purposed coaching changes at Notre Dame. The direction of the program is something Peters will consider when he makes his final decision.

"There have been a lot of coaches switching jobs lately," Peters said. "I also take that into account. I wouldn't follow a coach somewhere, but coaches have certain playing styles. Some have aggressive playing styles and some have technical playing styles. I'll definitely take that into account when I decide where I'll end up.

"That's what happened with Stanford. Their coaching staff was completely changed around, so I know that they're going through a transition period and that they'll be down for a year or two before they will be able to rebuild their football program."

Along with the stability of the coaching staff, Peters will take a look at the depth chart along the defensive line.

"It's important to me but it's not the key factor for me," Peters said of the depth at defensive line. "It doesn't matter where I go, I'll have to compete. Coach Mattison of Florida said that they're graduating five defensive linemen, but I know they have other guys. But that's true of anywhere that I'm considering.

"LSU has defensive linemen coming out at the seams, but that's true at Nebraska or Florida or Georgia Tech or Notre Dame. I'll have to fight for a position, but that's healthy competition and it will just make me better.

"I'll look at what type of guys the players are. Are they good people or are they guys that only play football," he added. Top Stories