Tverdov has been playing football all his life so continuing beyond high school was never really in question.
"Football really means everything to him. He has always wanted to play college football ever since he was playing flag football and Pee-wee football and he's been playing every year ever since," stated Mrs. Tverdov.
After having received significant attention from a number of colleges from across the country during his Junior year at Union, the attention began to diminish into Tverdov's Senior year. The general consensus, it seemed, was that Tverdov was too light and did not yet have the physical build suitable for Division-I football.
A change had to be made.
"He started training very hard right around the beginning of January. He started to lift four times per week at DeFranco's, he started to work on his speed, he followed their nutrition program and was eating properly. He did everything he had to do and everything he could do," continued Mrs. Tverdov.
Seeing her son make a decision to improve and to stick by it month after month, when most high school Seniors had already decided on their future collegiate destination, was especially pleasing for Mrs. Tverdov.
"I was impressed very much with the progress he made. I could see it as he started to go up in size from a single-X shirt then to a double-X. I was surprised but also very pleased."
"All I can say is that I couldn't wish for anything else for him. His whole life he has wanted to play college football, and like my husband always said "just follow your passion" and that is exactly what he did. He loves sports so much, but football in particular, he really loves football."
As far as how the Tverdov family regards the Rutgers staff and what their thoughts are on having their son spend the next 4 or 5 years with a certain group of individuals - Rutgers fans have heard it before, but when it comes from the parents themselves, it speaks volumes.
"I feel very comfortable sending my son to be coached by Coach Schiano. I feel he has a lot to offer and I feel Peter is in very good hands at Rutgers."
In the end, Peter's recruitment came down to just a pair of schools: Rutgers and Virginia.
"It was between Rutgers and Virginia. I kept going back and forth between them and I was really torn. And then I just started to feel really comfortable about Rutgers. And since I always play best when I am most comfortable I decided to shock a few people by coming to Rutgers and by setting an example for other New Jersey guys," stated Peter.
"I knew that I could go to prep school and after that I could have had my choice of schools to attend from any conference," continued Peter.
But in the end, Peter's comfort level with the school, fondness for the state of New Jersey and desire to set a precedent and not become just another local guy that heads elsewhere became primary reasons for selecting Rutgers.
With the stress of his recruitment behind him, Peter is now ready to focus on his future collegiate career at Rutgers.
"Defensive end is where I was recruited to play. I'm really excited about that. That's where I can have the most impact."
And the thought about playing behind and learning from one of the league's most dominant players (Ryan Neill)?
"I'm definitely going to be on that guy asking him questions and trying to learn from him all that I can and hopefully he'll take me under his wing," stated Peter.
Peter (6-foot-4 and 235-pounds) does not yet know whether the staff intends on redshirting him for the upcoming year. Extremely well-spoken and quite respectful, Peter stated that the staff would allow him to compete for playing time as soon as this year. And undoubtedly, being the confident young man that he is, Peter fully expects to see the field in Fall '05.
Thankful that Rutgers stepped forward with a scholarship offer Peter had one lasting remark for Rutgers football fans, one that will without a doubt endear him to the Scarlet hearts of many:
"I seriously plan on making all the Big East teams that didn't recruit me or didn't offer me pay when we play them. I'm going to make Rutgers fans very happy and will wreck havoc for the next 4 or 5 years."
During his senior year Tverdov recorded 140 tackles, and 19 tackles for loss. On offense, he recorded 23 receptions for 256 yards.
THE PETER TVERDOV STRENGTH AND ATHLETICISM FILE
Bench Press: 325-pounds.
40-yard dash: 4.68 seconds.
Shuttle: 4.18 seconds.
#47 Pete Tverdov Video
Mike and the Big Dog LLC