Thursday night, the Arizona Cardinals host NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks. Lining up at cornerback for Arizona will be seventh-year NFL star Patrick Peterson, one of the game’s elite all-around athletes.
Peterson is a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection. The 6-foot, 220-pound defensive back is what all of the league’s general managers would crave in a lockdown defender.
Before he was the crucial cog in an NFL defense, and before he played for three years at LSU, Peterson was a two-way star as a defensive back and running back at Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.). It was there (when his name was Patrick Johnson) that he earned 2007 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Defensive Player of the Year. In his senior year, Peterson made 21 tackles with five interceptions while also compiling 11 total touchdowns (9 rushing, 1 kick return, 1 punt return). He played in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
After changing his name to his biological father’s name upon arrival in Baton Rouge, Peterson went on to a great career with the Tigers.
After three years at LSU, where he won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the best defensive player in the country as a junior, Peterson was picked fifth overall by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Now, 10 years since he was the best high school defender in the country, the 27-year-old is still setting the tone on the gridiron.