Former Coug walk on one to watch this spring

THIS SPRING AT Washington State will see a former walk on safety-turned-linebacker out on the field– Mitch Peterson. WSU linebackers coach Ken Wilson has been coaching for 20 seasons and says in that time, he's never had a former defensive back better make the transition to linebacker than has Peterson.

Mitch Peterson is 14 pounds heavier this spring than last season, measuring in at 6-1, 214-pounds. All indications are that it's "good" weight.

"He's taken to linebacker better than any guy I've ever brought down from the secondary," said Ken Wilson. reported earlier this offseason that WIL Tana Pritchard earned more black shirts than any player on the defense. Peterson wasn't far behind.

"Let me tell you, next to Tana, Mitch Peterson was the second-best (linebacker) in Midnight Maneuvers. He's put a lot of weight on. He played in (six) games for us last year, he's earned a scholarship and he's a very smart guy.

PETERSON CAME TO WSU as a walk on safety out of West Valley High in Spokane. Last fall camp, as a fourth-year junior, Mike Leach put him on scholarship, citing his hard work, dedication as a player, and his academics.

He can play a little, too.

"I wouldn't count him out. He's big, smart and he's also got DB skills. So those three guys out there (Cyrus Coen, Peterson, Paris Taylor) are going to have a good battle as to who can hold onto that position," said Wilson.

Peterson isn't as athletic as some other linebackers. He's not going to be the fastest linebacker you'll see in the Pac-12. He got here through hard work, namely three seasons as a walk on before earning a scholie in last year's fall camp.

And once he earned his scholie, his work ethic remained the same.

"He's a tough guy, very conscientious," said Wilson. "And he's going to be a factor at that SAM position."

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