Kevin Peterson's pregame routine never changes.
“Two socks on my left, one on my right,” the Wagoner two-way standout said. “I've been wearing the same thing, been eating the same thing and not talking to people before games for as long as I can remember.”
The routines weren't all about superstition to Peterson, though. They're much more.
“That's just who he is,” Bulldogs coach Dale Condict said. “He has such an attention to detail. Whether it's school work or football or making sure his uniform looks right before he goes out on the field, he's got a higher level of intensity at about anything.”
Those traits helped Peterson rush for 1,621 yards and 25 touchdowns and put up 42 tackles and three interceptions at cornerback despite teams tailoring their offensive gameplans specifically to limit the damage Peterson could inflict. They also helped him earn The Oklahoman's All-State Defensive Player of the Year honors.
“I just wanted to know everything about everything,” Peterson said. “That's just how I've been ever since I was little.”
He takes plenty of grief about it from his friends, who tease him about the socks, his pregame meals of spaghetti and sweet tea and the ferocious way he tackles game preparation and work in the classroom.
“They usually think I'm kind of a weirdo,” Peterson said. “That's just who I am though.”
In the season opener against Coweta, he got beat deep midway through the fourth quarter.
Coweta took the lead shortly after, boosted by the long pass play, while Peterson fumed.
“It was the only time I got beat all year,” Peterson said after recalling the play in intricate detail. “You have no idea how mad I was.”
So he did something about it.
He took the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown, lifting Wagoner to a 21-17 win.
“That kind of mentality, that he was going to make up for it and do something big to get his team a win, is what sets Kevin apart,” Condict said.
It was Peterson's favorite moment of the season until the state title game win over Clinton.
In that game, a 23-0 win, Peterson turned in his signature play with an 86-yard touchdown run late in the first half that put the Bulldogs ahead 9-0.
Since running for 246 yards and a pair of touchdowns in that game while locking things down on defense, Peterson's life has been a whirlwind.
Despite early offers from Arizona, Oregon State, Tulsa and Iowa State, Peterson decided not to commit before or during the season.
“A lot of people in that process, probably me included, would've committed to someone and then if a better chance comes along, jump on that later,” Condict said. “There are plenty of reasons why you could do that and nobody would think anything of it but it's just not Kevin.”
So Peterson was patient. After the season, he visited Tulsa. As he killed time at Bass Pro Shops in Broken Arrow following the visit, Bob Stoops called. The Oklahoma coach extended an offer.
A week later, Peterson took an official visit to Norman and committed to the Sooners.
“I'm the type of person that if I commit somewhere, I'm committed,” Peterson said. “I'm not going to back out. I knew if I could prove myself through the playoffs, good things would come my way.”