While watching the Indoor Track Meet at BGSU today, I chatted with a football player/track guy whom I always had brief conversations with in the past. I mean brief conversations. Senior Lovell Peterson from Wayne High School has been a favorite of mine since his sophomore year
Lovell started on the offensive line for Wayne High School as a sophomore. Natural bender. Excellent punch. Good feet. As a junior, he moved to defense. Defense was his favorite side of the ball and, honestly, I liked him there. But on the next level I could see him as a center. Then he was injured his junior year. I do not know the off the field/on the field problems that he had his senior year, but this past year was not a super year for him. He had offers, and Kentucky liked him well enough to offer him a scholarship, too. That was the last that I knew, until today.
I congratulated him on his football scholarship, but he told me right away that he had "flipped, " and was going to Grand Valley State to be a "thrower." Took me by surprise, but I as I talked with him about the switch, I became convinced that the move was the best for him. Not that my opinion matters, but I thought he was content.
Here is a guy who has had people pulling at him in all directions for at least three years of football. The expectations for him as a football recruit were huge. Watching him play football, I was concerned at times that his "motor" did not always run full speed. As we talked, I convinced him that I was not a recruiting reporter trying to add a content story to a recruiting website. Also, convinced him that the questions he answered were mine and the answers would be mine and stay mine. And they will! Now I understand the reasons for the switch.
Today, he threw the "weight" 67 feet and 7 inches. I know "nothing" about the weight throw. But it seemed far to me. Needs to work on the shot put some, but that will come. Last year, he threw the discus 185 feet. Why not go to school to be a "thrower." The potential to be good is there.
Today, I actually saw Lovell Peterson smile and relax as he talked with me and answered my questions. What would make a football recruit, probably rated a "4 star," decide not to follow everybody's expectations and go to Kentucky? What would make a football recruit, decide to throw the weights? What would make one of McCallister's top 6 linemen in Ohio want to throw a discus?The answers are not really that important to me.
What is important is that a young man can go with his heart, and not with what everyone expects him to do, or that a young man can block out all of the "noise" and do what he really wants to do.
Lovell Peterson, I would guess, has some past issues, including academics. But that is the past. I wish him the very best for the coming track season and hope to see him throw in the Ohio High School State Track Meet in June. Better yet, I hope that he is flashing the big smile that I saw today.