Kevin Peterson was thrown into action as a true freshman last season and entered fall camp sitting atop the depth chart at the starting cornerback spot opposite Justin Gilbert.
What makes Peterson an effective young player?
“You dream of the dynamic player,” cornerbacks coach Van Malone said. “But really, you want the consistent player. He studies the film, he knows what his assignment is and he always is where he’s supposed to be.
“If he’s challenged and (the offense) makes a play, then he comes back because he learns from his mistake and then he goes back and corrects it.”
Peterson recorded 20 tackles and two pass breakups in 2012 while playing in all 13 games, including one start.
Cornerback remains an intriguing group to monitor during fall camp and beyond.
Gilbert — who Malone does call a “dynamic” player — is aiming for a rebound season after a disappointing 2012. Ashton Lampkin, another sophomore who got a lot of playing time last season, was highlighted by Cowboy coach Mike Gundy on Tuesday as a youngster who has impressed in the early part of fall camp. Tyler Patmon, a post-graduate transfer from Kansas, is now officially in the mix. And the Cowboys will need immediate help from a true freshman crop of Jerel Morrow, Darius Curry and Taylor Lewis.
“I’m pleased with their progression,” Malone said. “I know we have a long way to go. I know there has been a lot said about the aggression we’re playing with and all those things, but we can’t give up any plays.
“If we make a play, OK, we made that one. But the next play, they have the potential to score. So we can’t rest on our laurels on first down. We have to play until we get to the sideline. Once we get there, we have to be ready to play again.”