Under the Radar to On the Map

The Sooner secondary has been a glaring weakness all season, leading to lots of action on the recruiting trail, and the Crimson and Cream landed another component of their defensive backfield rebuilding project this weekend with cornerback Kevin Peterson's commitment.

Peterson, listed as a 5-foot-11, 170-pounder from Wagoner HS, becomes the latest of three defensive backs in the 2012 class, which also includes four-star cornerback De'Vante Harris and recently four-star safety Derrick Woods.

And it comes just one week removed from an offer that arrived less than two months before signing day.

"It was kind of late, but at the same time sometimes your roster dictates what you do late in the recruiting process, how your team has performed throughout the course of a season and what direction you feel like you need to go with," said National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers. "Your recruiting can change, so I think that OU feels like they needed some help in the defensive backfield or needed to develop some depth there."

Peterson was both a solid fit and a realistic one.

"So, an in-state guy like Peterson that was still out there, not committed to anybody is a pretty good option this late in the game," Powers said. "Sometimes it's harder to get guys to flip and obviously they're still in on some bigger names like Colin Blake and Kasseim Everett, obviously a JUCO guy who could come in and provide immediate [assistance], if not come in immediately and start, at least push the guys who are on their roster to become better players."

But Peterson was pretty much a sure thing.

He only received offers from Arizona and Tulsa on his interest list, and OU was the one he seemed to be waiting on.

OU defensive backs coach Willie Martinez extended that on Dec. 11.

So the Sooners have bolstered their future secondary by one more body.

Just what can they expect out of him, though, position and production-wise?

"I think he's a cornerback for sure, can probably remind people of--I wanna say [Demontre] Hurst, but he's a little bit bigger than Hurst," Powers said. "You know, I think he's definitely coming in as a corner. He's a lockdown type of guy, but he's also a guy who's put up some decent numbers on the offensive side of the ball as well. So, he's used to making big time plays."

After all, Peterson has always been "considered as one of the top players in the state of Oklahoma over the last two seasons," according to Powers.

There's reason to believe, then, he could make more of an impact than his 3-star rating suggests.

At the very least, he will likely push the ones in front of him upon arriving in Norman.

"That's sometimes what you're looking for with some of these guys," Powers said. "They're not necessarily guys that you have to see being instantaneous starters, that they can come in and push the guy that you have on your depth chart to be better players and out perform them to keep their spot."

Indeed, most times poor play at a position stems deeper than just one or two guys.

If those behind them aren't competing at a winning level, then the starters normally won't.

Backbuilding is the way to go at that point, and that's what the Sooners are doing.

Their latest just comes in the form of a player who went largely under the radar.

"He came to Oklahoma camp and kind of put his name on the radar and proved that he was as talented as many of the other national names at corner and then his recruitment never really took off," Powers said. "But OU stayed in on him, it sounds like and whenever they were looking for a corner, then the in-state guy was there for the taking."

The team and fans alike hope the late snag turns out to be a great snag.

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