Wednesday, October 19, 2011
OT Andrus Peat carving his own path
By Greg Biggins
ESPN Recruiting Nation
Offensive lineman Andrus Peat (Tempe, Ariz./Corona Del Sol) comes from a football family. His father, Todd Peat Sr., played in the NFL for seven years. Andrus' older brother, Todd Jr., one of the nation's top high school defensive linemen a year ago, plays for Nebraska.
That being said, the younger Peat might be the most physically talented athlete in the family, and the lineman picked up a huge honor Wednesday when the during the American Life Insurance presents the Under Armour All-America Game selection tour hit Corona Del Sol High.
"I'm thrilled and honored to play in the Under Armour game," Peat said. "I've been watching this game on ESPN the last three years, and this is the game I was hoping to have the opportunity to play in. My older brother Todd played in the Army game last year and had a good time, but I wanted to do something different and I can't wait to get out there and compete."
The game is set for Jan. 5 in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Peat, the ESPNU 150's No. 3 offensive tackle and No. 16 player overall in the country, knows what a challenge the game will be, playing against some of the nation's top defensive linemen.
"ESPN televises the practices and none of the guys playing want to look bad on TV," he said. "There are so many great players in this game, and that was one of the things that really attracted me to it. To have the opportunity to be on the same field with all these guys is going to be great, but I know I better be ready as well.
"As soon as our season is over, I'm going to be training hard to get ready. We lift during the season, so I've only lost about five pounds, which is nothing. I'm around 6-foot-7, 305 pounds, and feeling really good. So I'll be ready to go. This game will be a lot like how things are going to be in college, as far as the competition, so it's going to be a great experience."
With Peat choosing to go in a different direction from his older brother in playing in the UA game versus Army, it begs the question: Will he go a separate way when it's time to pick a college as well?
"We're very close, very close," Peat said. "He's just a year ahead of me, so we've always hung out together and it was great playing with him on our high school team. I get asked all the time about college, and Nebraska is very high on my list. Todd loves it there and said they have the best coaching staff in America.
"At the same time, I need to make the best decision for me, and he understands that. I'm looking at this as a business decision and asking myself, 'If Todd wasn't at Nebraska would I still want to go there?' I know I would, and that's why they're on my list and why I'm taking an official visit there in November."
Peat said there are several other schools on his list and he plans to make his next cut after his season.
"I'm looking at Stanford, Texas, Florida, Florida State, USC and Notre Dame still," he said. "I'm close to setting a visit with Stanford, but that's the only school I know I'll be visiting other than Nebraska.
"I really don't have a timeline of when I'll make my commitment. It could be at the UA game, it could be on signing day. Honestly, whenever I know, that's when I'll announce. I would like to take all five visits, but like I said, if I find the right place before taking all of them, I'll go ahead and make my choice."
First things first for Peat, as he's hoping to finish off his high school season on a high note before heading to Florida for the Under Armour All-America Game.
"We have a new staff that has done a great job this year," Peat said. "We only won one game last year, but we're 4-4 this year and playing a lot better, so it has been a fun season so far. I'm playing both ways again, but I love offensive tackle and that's where I plan to play in college.
"I would love to play as a true freshman if I can, but I know how hard it is for offensive linemen to do that. I'm just going to keep working hard, though, and hopefully big things will happen for me."
Greg Biggins covers recruiting in the West region. He can be reached at Greg.Biggins@espn.com.