INDIANAPOLIS — Being kicked out of a college program can be a death knell for some NFL draft prospects, but Marcus Peters didn’t let it break his spirit.
The cornerback was dismissed from the University of Washington football team after multiple fights with coaches. Peters said Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine that reports that he strangled a Huskies coach are “false.”
Peters is raising his draft stock at the combine by being open and honest during informal meetings with NFL teams, according to a league source. Peters still has a chance to be a Top 20 pick if he aces his workouts Monday, since he’s considered by some teams as the best defensive back in the draft.
Peters’ former teammates at Washington, defensive tackle Danny Shelton, pass rusher Hau’oli Kikaha and linebacker Shaq Thompson also have helped convince teams that Peters isn’t a bad guy, “swearing by his character.”
“That I just learn from my mistakes,” Peters said about the message he’s delivering to teams this week. “I made some immature decisions at the University of Washington, and it hurt me truly. So I’ve just got to learn from my mistakes, and I grow from it.’’
Peters didn’t have any issues with the Huskies’ previous coaching staff, but problems arose when Steve Sarkisian left for USC and Chris Petersen came to the program this year. That, coupled with the birth of his son Carson, made for a turbulent year for Peters.
Peters blamed his dismissal on miscommunication with the Washington coaches. He since has reconciled with Petersen and will participate April 2 in the Huskies’ pro day.
“I recently went up there a couple of weeks ago and had a real good conversation with Coach Petersen,” Peters said. “We sat down, and we talked about everything that happened. I sincerely apologized to him again for what I put him and the team through throughout this year. But it was a good conversation and he welcomed me into the pro day.’’
Peters has a formal interview scheduled with the New England Patriots on Sunday. The 6-foot, 197-pound corner fits the Patriots’ current mold for defensive backs thanks to his physical play and press-coverage skills.
Thumbnail photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images