Pettus prepped at Southwestern High School in Detroit, Michigan and with a son on the way, he decided to give up football for the time being and worked.
"I took a couple of years off," Pettus told JCFootball.com recently. "I felt like I needed to get things in order. I had a son to take care of and I wanted to focus on that."
However, after those two years away, the sport he loved kept pulling at him, so he decided to give it another shot.
"I love to play the game and I wanted to do this for my mom and for my son," Pettus said. "I wanted to get my schooling taken care of and to play football again and going to DuPage was the right decision for me."
After admittedly having to knock the rust off, Pettus had a solid freshman season for the Chaparral posting 58 tackles, one sack and one interception while starting a majority of the season at the safety position.
"I played corner in high school, but I came here to play safety," Pettus said. "I can play pretty much anywhere in the secondary, but I feel like I'm probably a better free safety.
"A lot of the time I was down over the slot receiver, but I have the speed (4.45) to play corner and I like to be physical so I can play in the box or play deep."
On the recruiting front, Pettus already has two offers and more schools are starting to turn up the heat.
"I have offers from Central Michigan and Houston right now," Pettus said. "Indiana, Purdue, Syracuse and Wisconsin and recently Louisiana Tech started talking to me and showing interest.
"I have a lot of schools looking at me right now, so I'm just going to listen to them all and then I will take some visits this fall and make my decision."
Pettus is taking summer school classes with the hopes of being ready to go in December, but may need to wait until next spring to finish things up.
Wherever he ends up, Pettus will have three years to play two following the 2011 football season.
Josh Pettus Scout Profile
DuPage's Pettus has two early offers
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