After missing all of the 2011 season with an injury, junior defensive back Otis Peterson is ready to get back into a Warhawk uniform and make up for lost time.
"It feels good to get back on the field and get after it," the Belle Chase, La. native said following ULM's first fall scrimmage. "Even though I couldn't play, I didn't take any time off last year and just kept working out with my cast on. It feels good to be back on the field and I'm ready to show that I'm back my junior year."
Peterson saw the field in a reserve role in 2010, but was expected to be a key component in the Warhawk secondary last season. During his freshman season, he collected a career high eight tackles at Arkansas State and hauled in an interception against Auburn and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
"I missed a whole year and so I got a lot of ground to make up and I want to be good this year," he said. "The coaches have worked really hard with me to make sure that we are ready as a team. We've been treating all of our practices and conditioning as a game, so that we don't have a change of thought during the two, everything just comes to you."
Peterson along with Isaiah Newsome and Vincent Eddie anchor the secondary and were named starters based on the first two-deep depth chart released. As one of the older players at the position, he knows that he has to do as the upperclassmen did with him and mentor the younger players to always continue to get better.
"We all just try to take the leadership and be more vocal," he said. "We have some good younger guys coming up. Trey Caldwell, he has great speed and he's pushing me to be better. You can tell by watching him that he came out here to play and not sit on the bench. Really all of the freshman class though, none of them are scared to play, they all have good speed and technique, any changes they are having to make, they just take it in stride."
The Warhawks will continue preparations for the 2012 kickoff just two weeks away with a closed scrimmage on Friday night.