Versatility expected to help Peters make impact as CB

The Spartanburg Herald JournalFebruary 4, 2010 

A few years ago, Garry Peters wanted no part of playing defense.

But once he embraced the idea, the highly touted Clemson commitment developed into one of football's rarest commodities - a tall cornerback with athleticism.

"I didn't want to play defense at all at first, but then I saw I was real good at it," Peters said. "You don't see many (6-foot) corners who are fast and elusive."

Peters, who is listed at 6-foot, 183 pounds, is the Tigers' lone defensive commitment listed among ESPN's top 150 at No. 126.

He played three positions- quarterback, wide receiver and corner - the past two seasons at Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga.

South Florida offered Peters a chance to play quarterback, but he is now a full-blown defensive guy.

"The receivers are getting bigger and bigger, so you've got to have those bigger corners," ESPN recruiting analyst J.C. Shurburtt said. "Garry's size has always been impressive. On film, you can see he has good instincts and is quick. He needs to get bigger and stronger just like any other prospect, but certainly he has a lot of upside given his size and athletic ability."

Peters is one of three cornerbacks from Georgia who signed Wednesday with Clemson, joining Westlake's Darius Robinson and Roswell's Martin Jenkins.

Peters said he is very friendly with the other two defenders.

He could even end up rooming with Robinson, and there are no issues with the trio battling for playing time.

"We're all close to each other, and we see it as we'll all get our chance to play, even if it's at the nickel position," Peters said. "There won't be any problems. We're all friends, and at the end of the day, it's all about the Clemson family first."

Heritage assistant coach Chris Pack says Peters is "one heck of an athlete."

Pack said the knowledge Peters gained from playing quarterback and receiver should aid his cornerback intellect at the next level.

"Physically, he has good hips as a cover corner and great recovery speed," Pack said. "I've seen him get beat on a move or two then come back to make the interception."

Peters was pursued by Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Tennessee.

In May, he declared the Crimson Tide as his favorite. But a trip to Clemson's summer camp led to a quick verbal commitment in August.

"I went down there and met the players, the coaches and the coaches' families, and I loved it," Peters said. "I felt like it was the best family atmosphere and the right place for me."

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