Blue-Chip Ohio Safety holds PITT offer

Last year the University of Pittsburgh football program was able to get commitments from two very high profile recruits from the state of Ohio in Joe Thomas and Jovani Chappel. Both players received a lot of attention from Big Ten schools and ultimately chose to play for head coach Dave Wannstedt in the Big East instead. It might be early in the recruiting process for 2007's class, but it appears the Panthers already have their eye on another big time recruit from the Buckeye state.

C.J. Peake, a talented safety-running back from Trotwood-Madison High School in Ohio has several offers from BCS conference teams, including Mississippi, West Virginia, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Pitt. With so many big time programs already offering him a scholarship to play football for them, recently contacted Peake to see how one of the top high school football players in Ohio feels about the Panthers.

"Yes they (Pitt) are one of my favorites," Peake said. "But I don't have any top favorites right now."

Peake has a lot to offer to the program he ultimately commits to. Last year as a junior he had 109 tackles (2 for losses) and 6 interceptions. He also was the backup running back for Meadowdale High School, rushing for 800 yards and 12 touchdowns. Peake said he was not only the overall MVP of his team last year, but for both offense and defense as well.

Asked what he does best on the football field, Peake offered a few reasons for why he has been receiving so much interest from top programs across the country.

"I can play a lot of positions. I'm athletic, I'm big and I have a lot of speed."

Peake is currently being recruited by Pitt coach Curtis Bray. According to the senior, who transferred to Trotwood-Madison for his final season of high school ball, the Panthers have targeted him as one of their main defensive priorities.

"They said I'm one of their top recruits," said Peake. "I'm their top safety on the board, they really like me."

Although Peake is currently being recruited by Bray, it seems one of Pitt's top Ohio recruits from the 2006 class has been filling him in on the program as well.

"Jovanni Chappel goes there," said Peake. "He was telling me about what the coaches (at Pitt) taught him." Peake mentioned that Chappel recently showed him some of the drills and footwork he was working on at Pitt. When asked about whether Chappel wants to see him at Pitt next year Peake offered this:

"He (Chappel) said ‘you ready to commit, you want me to call my coaches?'"

Peake has indicated that although he hasn't received a written offer from Ohio State just yet, that he has received a lot of interest from the Buckeyes. More than anything, Peake wants to find a program that is best for him, regardless of what school it is. He plans to visit both Ohio State and Pittsburgh this summer.

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