Diary: Future Vol QB prepares for Sr. season

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A few of Tennessee's football commitments have agreed to work alongside InsideTennessee.com to diary their senior seasons and final year of high school.

Nathan Peterman and his parents were among the first who volunteered to share some thoughts about the quarterback's life with our readership. Read below to see what the Peterman's had to say in their first entry as he and his Bartram Trail (Fla.) High School teammates get ready to participate in a kickoff classic against Mandarin at home on Friday night at 7. The season opener is at Nease on Sept. 2 at 7.

Aug. 12

Nathan Peterman

A couple of my teammates and I went to the Jacksonville-area high school media day today at the Jaguars Stadium. It was a fun experience getting to talk about how excited we are for our team goal this year of a state championship. We feel very good about this goal as a lot of the players on our team who have been starting for three years now are coming back. They are all very talented players, and have really pushed me to be a better player, also. We have grown very close to each other over the past three years and feel like everything has been leading up to this season and we are ready to get it started.

Media day was also a fun opportunity because I got to talk about my decision to become a Vol. God is the most important part of my life and He really led me through my whole recruiting process. Tennessee came in relatively late in my decision, but my family and I really felt that this is where He was leading me and wanted me to go. I have always had the dream to play big-time college football in the SEC and really felt that God was opening the door to make my dream possible.

I explained to all the media how excited and honored I feel to have the chance to play at such a high-class program, in a great offense, and high-caliber conference. I even got to sing "Rocky Top" for the first time publicly (my mom has really helped me learn the words and melody, as she is a Tennessee native). I have also really started to see how great the Vol Nation is as I have received many congratulations and good wishes from a lot of people. Even though I am in Gator, Bulldog and Seminole country, I have also received a lot of encouragement and congratulations from a lot of my friends and family, which has been a great blessing.

I am so excited to call myself a Tennessee Volunteer and look forward to all the opportunities that God has laid out for my future.

Proverbs 3:5-7

Aug. 12

Dana Peterman (Mom)

The climb to "Rocky Top" has begun and we are so thankful to God for the opportunity. Ever since Nathan committed to be a Tennessee Volunteer on July 20, we have experienced a new world of orange and white. On July 30, we hosted a "Go Vols" celebration at our home with family, friends, coaches and many of Nathan's Bartram Trail High School teammates where we surrounded ourselves with as much orange and white as possible, including orange sherbet, vanilla ice cream and orange soda.

Nathan was blessed to be on Knoxville's live sports talk radio on commitment day, and yesterday, he even had a chance to sing "Rocky Top" in a Media Day interview at the Jacksonville Jaguar Stadium. It is amazing to us that we didn't realize until now how many Tennessee Volunteer fans actually live here in Jacksonville. It's a lot of fun to see the Power T on license plates and sense the Tennessee connection with people we haven't known before now. We look forward to getting to know more Volunteers in Knoxville and beyond.

We are extremely excited for the Bartram Trail Bears' season to begin. Today was the second day of practice in pads with 100-degree heat. It's been rough on the team, but everyone made it through without any significant incidents. The Bears are fired up and preparing for a season that will hopefully culminate in a state championship.

Coach (Darrell) Sutherland has done an incredible job of coaching these young men to be a team first and always a band of brothers. Many of the guys on the team have been playing together a long time and it is thrilling to see the unbreakable bond of strength and trust built between them. It's going to be so much fun to be with our Bartram Trail Bears Family on Friday nights!  The countdown is on…only 14 days until the preseason opener against Mandarin High.

Aug. 13

Dana

Senior pictures today…cap and gown, tuxedo, casual, Bartram Trail school spirit and even a specially-chosen Tennessee-orange tie for the classic shot!  Sentimental and exciting all at the same time. As a mom, I want to "freeze-frame" everyday. God is so good!

Aug. 20

Chuck Peterman (Dad)

Today I got a break from work for a few minutes and watched Nate's Spring Game Hudl highlights on the web. That was an amazing game with a plethora of weaponry displayed on the team. As I was grilling chicken tonight, I was thinking about having the O-line over for steaks on the barbie! Can't wait to do this for the guys that have my son's back. Their selfless sacrifice and hard work has been the backbone of an unprecedented work ethic and team spirit for Bartram Trail Bears. 

I've been feeling my anticipation rising for a fun 2011, "Friday night lights" season. Hopefully it will live up to everyone's expectations. Already 3 players are out with injuries and I really feel for them. Hopefully all of them will get to come back before the season hits the play-off run.

As I reflect on this past year, I'm so thankful to God for what He has done and is still doing to shape Nate's faith and character. We've seen God's hand of blessing and guidance through the years . We've been amazed by the caliber of coaching resources and players surrounding Nate every step of the way from the first time he started heaving the laces in flag football as a seven-year-old. There is no way I could have planned it better… and of course I didn't plan any of it, it just "happened". That's the beautiful part, and that's why my heart fills with joy and gratitude for answered prayer … which we've seen with my other two sons as well.

I also reflect with joy on the competitor that God clearly made Nate to be. When he was a preschooler and we'd wrestle he always hated to lose, even to his 220-pound Dad. I'll never forget the "unorthodox methods" he'd use to try and escape a pin down. I knew then he would bring a lot of coaches a lot of joy by his undying spirit and will to win. Indeed he did, as he excelled in every sport he played. As he grew he would "drop" some of those sports however. Soccer wasn't enough of a challenge. Even while pitching and playing short-stop, Baseball just moved too slow for him. Basketball… well, he still loves Basketball, and if the seasons didn't overlap so much here he would have stayed with it beyond his Sophomore year. Without surprise, he's always been a field general … playing point guard, and forever surprising people with his passes and ability to see gaps on the court.

Well… there is so much more I could write, but then it would be a book and not a blog. I'm grateful to you for taking time to read this and for your interest in the story behind Nate. I wish you the same confidence of God's guidance through your life and future. Blessings.

Aug. 20

Nathan

We had our last scrimmage against ourselves yesterday before our first game against Mandarin. It went well as we got a lot of reps in and saw a few things we can get better at.

School starts this Monday and I am excited to get back into the swing of things and the season.

Our team motto this year is "pursuing excellence" and our head coach, Darrell Sutherland, has done a great job to make this something bigger than just a slogan that we put on our T-shirts. He has tried to enforce to us the importance of this principle in every aspect of life. No matter what you do, you should not play up or down to your competition, but simply strive to do your best always. So as this week approaches we will be practicing on Mandarin's schemes and what they will try to do against us, but overall we will be focusing on playing to our best potential, not just enough to beat Mandarin.

1 Corinthians 10:31


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