WAGONER — Kevin Peterson never wanted this to happen.
When the Wagoner cornerback committed to Oklahoma in December, he had no expectations of taking more visits or changing his mind.
But when defensive backs coach Willie Martinez and defensive coordinator Brent Venables left the OU coaching staff and Oklahoma State came charging hard, Peterson couldn't come up with reasons not to listen.
“Coach Martinez was one of the main reasons I committed, and Coach Venables was the one recruiting me,” Peterson said after helping Wagoner's basketball team to a win over Catoosa. “Them leaving kind of opened my eyes and me and my parents sat down and talked and wanted to be sure we were making the right decision.”
Oklahoma State took advantage of the opening, getting Peterson to take an official visit — hosted by longtime friend Isaac Maselera, a Glenpool product — last weekend and it paid off Monday night when, after another discussion with his parents, Peterson officially changed his commitment to Oklahoma State.
“In a perfect world, he would've got both offers at the same time and taken both official visits and then make his decision,” Wagoner defensive coordinator Nick Humphries said. “But he couldn't bank on other offers coming, and he had to decide at that time with what was on the table.”
Monday was a night of ups and downs at the Peterson house.
When Peterson, The Oklahoman's All-State Defensive Player of the Year, came home from school, he told his parents — father Kevin Sr. and mother Kimberly — that he wanted to talk.
Peterson made some food, grabbed a Gatorade and headed up stairs for some quiet time before the talk.
When his parents joined him a bit later, the first message from the son wasn't 100 percent clear.
“Daddy, I think I want to go to OSU,” Kevin said.
“You think?” his dad asked.
“No, I know that's where I want to go,” he answered.
Kevin Sr. and Kimberly questioned their son about his decision, making sure he was choosing the Cowboys for the right reasons. It didn't take long until they were satisfied.
Their first calls were the most difficult. They first tried to call Bob Stoops. Stoops, though, was in the air on another recruiting trip and was unavailable. Mike Stoops picked up though.
“Is there something we did wrong?” Mike Stoops asked, according to Kimberly.
“No, you did everything right,” the Petersons told him. “He just wants to go to OSU.”
The tone of their next call was much different.
Cowboys coach Mike Gundy was “excited” about Peterson's decision.
When OSU cornerbacks coach Jason Jones called, Kevin's demeanor changed.
“That's when he kind of really started to relax,” his father said.
“There was some relief when he made the decision but he wanted to go about it the right way,” Kimberly said. “He didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings.”
Even after he made the switch, Mike Stoops and Cale Gundy told Wagoner coach Dale Condict they'd like to make the trip to Wagoner for Tuesday's basketball game for one more shot at swaying Peterson.
“They were upset and frustrated but still wanted Kevin,” Condict said. “But talking to him, we didn't want to waste their time and have them come all the way out here when they could be recruiting players who might go to OU.”
Tuesday morning around 9 a.m., Condict called Peterson into his office.
He wanted make sure Peterson was comfortable with his decision.
“He was the Kevin we've known all along again,” Condict said. “I felt like he was really at peace again.”
Humphries could see the change in Peterson through the process as well.
“It was stressful — very stressful,” Humphries said Tuesday. “No matter what decision he made, he was going to make half the people happy and half the people mad. But he had to make the decision that was right for him. We finally see a smile on his face now. He's not looking serious all the time.”
After returning to the basketball court Tuesday, the smile still shined bright.
“The last four days have been crazy, from basketball to school to going to Stillwater to deciding, it's just been pretty crazy,” Peterson said. “It's hard to describe with words.”