Written by Corbett Smith
Recruiting expert: If Seaogville tight end Andrew Peterson 'was at an Allen, Southlake Carroll, Coppell ... he would have had every school in the book'
Play, pause, rewind...play the clip of Seagoville tight end Andrew Peterson again.
His explosion jumps out straight away.
That, and his freakishly long frame, a legit 6-6, 250 pounds.
See how he goes up in the air and takes the ball away from smaller defensive backs?
See how he takes on second-level defenders blocking down field
How is he not listed as one of the top tight ends in the country?
Brad Anderson from TexasPreps.net, a Coppell-based Internet recruiting service, wondered exactly that.
In early December, Anderson was picking some film up from South Oak Cliff's coach Kendall Miller, when Peterson's name came up.
Had he seen that Seagoville tight end, Miller asked.
Anderson, who cuts film for highlight tapes for nearly every college in the country, had not. It's commonplace for colleges to use recruiting tools such as TexasPreps as a first set of eyes, allowing coaches to see for themselves highlights and clips from game films, instead of relying on second-hand reports.
So Anderson asked Seagoville head coach Andy Gutierrez if he could come around, and see some footage of Peterson.
What he saw was mind-boggling.
"About two plays in, his words were 'Oh my God; you don't know what you have there, do you?'," Gutierrez said.
No one knew. Not even Peterson. He had just started getting offers in November.
"Before the tape, I was looking at schools like Memphis or Utah," Peterson said.
Smaller FBS schools had sent assistants to scour Dallas, seeing if there was undiscovered talent in the area. Some had popped their head into Gutierrez's office, on a whim.
Of the schools in November that stopped by, including New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech, Lousiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe, all of them offered Peterson.
It certainly wasn’t Peterson's stat line drawing them in; in Seagoville's run-heavy offense, he had eight catches for 220 yards and eight scores over his senior season.
But the talent was there.
"If that kid was at an Allen, Southlake Carroll, Coppell ... he would have had every school in the book," Anderson said. "When you are 6-6, 250 pounds and can move like that, it's absolutely ridiculous."
Anderson put together a highlight tape and started distributing it to schools on Dec. 7. And in 48 hours, Peterson was suddenly a hot commodity.
"Once that tape went out, I was getting calls the same day," Peterson said.
Michigan, Tennessee, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Miami ... a Who's Who of college powerhouses now took notice and offered Peterson. By Dec. 14, the offers tallied in the 20s.
Since then, Peterson has been whisked around the nation over the past month and a half, taking official visits and meeting with coaches.
Two weeks ago, he had home visits by USC and Oregon assistants, Miami coach Al Golden, Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino and Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman over the span of four days.
With all of the trips, visits, and attention -- in the midst of rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in practice right before Seagoville's playoff game -- Peterson has shouldered a heavy schedule. The burden looked evident on Peterson's face, Gutierrez said last week. Peterson canceled his final official visit to Miami, and has narrowed his choice to three schools: Arkansas, Texas A&M and Utah. He said he plans to make a decision prior to Wednesday, National Signing Day.
"I knew I was going to end up playing college football somewhere at a Division-I school," Peterson said. "But not like this."