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OSU football: Kevin Peterson develops into defensive playmaker

The cornerback used his speed and athleticism to weave his way to a 38-yard interception return to set up a Cowboy touchdown.
By Gina Mizell Published: November 13, 2013
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STILLWATER — Kevin Peterson reminds his coaches every day that he's a better receiver than cornerback.

The Oklahoma State sophomore finally got to show it Saturday night.

He used his brains to recognize he was matched up with Kansas' best athlete, Tony Pierson, and that Jayhawk quarterback Jake Heaps would likely throw his way. He used his strength and hands to fight off Pierson for positioning to snag the football. Then he used his speed and athleticism to weave his way to a 38-yard return to set up a Cowboy touchdown.

“Go up and get it,” Peterson said. “That's the only thing really I thought about. I'm not gonna go knock this one down. This is a perfect opportunity. I dreamed about this last night before I went to sleep, so go up there and get it.”

Peterson has been lauded for being a film junkie and a mark of consistency so far during his young career. But Saturday's interception was his first, turning Peterson into a playmaker for a Cowboy defense that has forced 23 turnovers so far this season.

“With maturity comes confidence,” Peterson said. “Being more confident as a corner, you'll be able to play the best that you can.”

Peterson certainly showed that ability to make an impact during his high school days at Wagoner, where he was The Oklahoman's Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 after rushing for 1,621 yards and 25 touchdowns and tallying 42 tackles and three interceptions.

Just before Signing Day in 2012, Peterson flipped his commitment from Oklahoma to the Cowboys. Then, he was forced into early action as a true freshman when two season-ending injuries thinned the Cowboys' depth at cornerback.

By this past spring, Peterson was penciled in as the Cowboys' starter. And he hasn't let that job go, totaling 15 tackles (two for loss) and four pass breakups thus far.

“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.

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