Reuben Peters goes from glue guy to spring running back

Reuben Peters talks about getting an opportunity to play some running back this spring, what he expects out of the fullback position and the value of playing special teams.

Reuben Peters is a glue guy.

He’s one of those often forgotten guys that are seldom highlighted but are vital to the success of any football team because of the important positions they hold that keep the team working smoothly. 

A former walk-on linebacker turned fullback, Peters has actually found himself in a new position this spring — running back.

“Spring has been going great for me,” Peters said. “I got a great opportunity from Coach [Clay] Helton and Coach [Deland McCullough] to play running back and get a little bit more carries like Soma [Vainuku] and Jahleel [Pinner] did in previous springs.”

Peters isn’t abandoning his fullback duties, but with that position being used infrequently and USC hampered by injuries at the running back position this spring, he’s been thrown into the mix as a running back.

While he knows that the carries will be much more sparing in the fall, Peters is still preparing like he he’ll get a chance to run it in a game next season.

“I hope to still be doing the same thing as last year as far as the F-position and hopefully carrying the ball a little bit,” Peters said. “Whatever opportunities come my way just make sure to make the most of it because you never know when your chance can be.”

The redshirt junior played just 38 offensive snaps last season, mostly in blowouts, and did not carry the ball, but like any fullback, he relishes in the opportunity to be the runner rather than the blocker.

“For me to get the chance to do that is real awesome.”

This spring, Peters said he is much more comfortable at the fullback position after transitioning from the defensive side of the ball last year. 

“I got a little bit more comfortable this year in that role. Transitioning, I knew some of the nuances of the position as opposed to last year where it was all kind of new to me,” Peters said. “Definitely having a year of experience helps a whole lot, understanding the plays and just how to use some of the technique during the play.”

Like any offensive player, Peters has dreams of scoring a touchdown, but he earned a scholarship before last season because of his special teams’ prowess. Last year, Peters played 237 total snaps, including a career-high 32 plays in the Rose Bowl win over Penn State. He was on every special teams unit the Trojans used except for punt coverage and extra-point defense.

Peters tries to pass along to younger players and walk-ons the value and opportunity of special teams and trying to make a mark on the game in the limited opportunities you are the field. 

“I think special teams is a huge opportunity not only for getting on the field, but if you want to see play time whether it's offense or defense getting in the game,” Peters said. “Once they can see you can play on special teams in a live game that just opens an even bigger door for you to play.”

Watch Reuben Peters, above, talk about getting an opportunity to play some running back this spring, what he expects out of the fullback position and the value of playing special teams.

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