Peterson, Malone Comfortable With Youngsters

Already the media's Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team is taking on problems as the Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in TCU defensive end Devante Fields is suspended while being investigated for an alleged domestic assault. Preseason teams and polls are nice, but often inaccurate. I had problems with the Big 12 team as there were no Oklahoma State Cowboys on it.

I don't believe it is required to have any Cowboys on the team but when a cornerback that a lot of offensive coaches recognize as one of the best in the league last season isn't recognized then I'm frustrated.

Oklahoma State's Kevin Peterson said he wasn't.

"I just don't like getting into the hype," Peterson said acting like it truly was no big issue. "That is kind of like people saying we're going to be a young team and things and ranking us fifth in the conference. You know I just never pay attention to that. The work we put into the summer and things like that are going to show where we are going into the season."

His coach likes the way Peterson handled his name not being on the list.

"He understands that this is the preseason and there have been a lot of guys chosen on the teams in the preseason then at the end of the year when you tally it all up they didn't have as good a season as people thought they would," said OSU cornerbacks coach Van Malone. "That is why, and it is what I preach to these guys, that is why you play the game. You play the games so we can all see who is deserving and who has the best team."

Peterson has no problem with being left off the All-Big 12 team and no problem with Oklahoma State finishing fifth in the preseason poll. Peterson is mastering this preseason hype scenario. The Cowboys picked fifth does not bother him.

"No, all when I was growing up I've been picked as an underdog and so has the rest of the team I'm sure," added the cornerback from Wagoner, Okla., that moved to Oklahoma from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. "We just feed off of it. I'd like to have no expectations this season and then we can show people what we can really do."

He was smiling when told of some Big 12 offensive coordinators that don't want to throw at him. He noticed some of that last season but that is where his team approach shows up.

"I thought that was a testimony to our defense when the balls aren't coming over there and we have guys like Shaun Lewis and Daytawion Lowe, Shamiel Gary, Justin Gilbert, and Tyler Patmon; I just thought that they're not going to throw the ball because we've got athletic guys like that who can make plays all over the field," Peterson admitted.

Now those older, experienced guys are not over there. They aren't around at all, and Peterson is leading. At safety, 211 tackles made graduated along with 14.5 tackles for losses, 2 fumbles recovered and one fumble forced. Returning at safety are 24 tackles made, one-half a tackle for loss, no interceptions, and no fumbles forced or were recovered.

Malone explains that having older corners and younger safeties is really kind of backwards from what you would really like to have.

"There is so much communication between those two groups," Malone said. "We always have been able to rely on Daytawion Lowe and Zack (Craig) and that experience, not only for the corner group, but the safety group.

"The corner group all across America is the group that listens and is getting the directives from the safeties. In our situation the experience is going to be in the place where the guys are normally listening. It would be much better to have safeties with experience but these guys, Kevin, Ashton (Lampkin), and Miketavius (Jones) will do an excellent job of bringing these guys along.

"Just the way we play those guys (at safety) Jordan [Sterns], Deric [Robertson], and Tre [Florwers] are going to be put in a position where they are going to have to step up and get things done in communication. They will do that because they are that type of kid and learned that from Daytawion and the older guys when the were here on how to drive the bus at that position."

Peterson said he is helping out. It is not the most natural thing for him, but he is being more vocal and he is showing more leadership.

"Oh yes sir, I've been preaching to them and taking on that leadership role," Peterson said. "I'm telling them take advantage of practice and that actually in the beginning the game is slower than practice because they (opposing receivers) are feeling you out and you are feeling them out and trust what your coaches tell you. The game plan is going to be in and trust what is in the game plan. It is getting the nerves out and letting them play like the athletes that they are."

The earlier that kicks in then the better the entire secondary will be. It'd be nice to see it kick in during fall camp before playing defending national champs Florida State on Aug. 30./p>


GoPokes Top Stories