Arkansas Football: Inside Look at Incoming Freshman Otha Peters


Fayetteville, Ark. – Over the past four college football seasons the University of Arkansas football team had an anchor and team leader at middle linebacker in Jerry Franklin. First year defensive coordinator Paul Haynes may have found the next four year starter at middle linebacker for the Razorbacks with the arrival of Otha Peters.

The Covington, La., native was one of the more highly recruited players Arkansas signed on National Signing Day. Listed at 6’1”, 220 pounds, Peters was rated as the fourth best prospect in the state of Louisiana and the No. 6 overall linebacker in the country by during his senior season.

At the conclusion of his senior season Peters earned Class 5-A All-State honors and was selected as the defensive MVP of District 6 5-A. His play in the Offense-Defense All-American Game earned him the outstanding linebacker award.

Fielding offers from seemingly every major Division-I school in the region Peters verbally committed to University of Tennessee in late July of 2011. Still listening to recruiting pitches Peters took an official visit to TCU the weekend of Dec. 9 and eventually took an official visit to Arkansas after an in-home visit from former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino, Haynes, and linebacker’s coach Taver Johnson in January.

After Peters official visit Jan. 27 to the “Hill”, he flipped to Arkansas on the Jan. 31, signing his letter of intent on National Signing Day.

In a turn of irony Covington High School head football coach Malter Scobel cited Tennessee’s Derek Dooley’s instability as the Vols head coach as one of the major reasons for Peters turning to the Razorbacks.

With Tank Wright and Alonzo Highsmith etched in as starting inside linebackers for the Hogs, Peters along with fellow incoming recruit A.J. Turner will push juniors Austin Jones and Jarrett Lake for time on the two-deep chart.

Peters has good speed for a SEC inside linebacker running a 4.6 forty-yard dash. He also has excellent strength for an incoming freshman with a reported max of 315 pounds on bench and 435 on squats.

Haynes commitment to using linebackers in blitzing packages from the inside positions should increase the stature of Arkansas’ linebackers to not only NFL scouts but also to future prospective recruits.

In Arkansas’ revamped 4-3 scheme Peters and Turner could be the faces of the future for the Razorback defense.

Inside the Numbers

Peters was ranked the fifth best prospect in the state of Louisiana by and the 13th best linebacker in the nation.

Selected as a Times-Picayune’s Blue Chip prospect.

Peters enrolled at Arkansas June 3.

Tennessee, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Arizona, TCU, Texas A&M, Memphis, and Minnesota were among the schools that offered Peters a scholarship.

Arkansas Razorback Recruits 2012

OG Cordale Boyd, 3-star, 6’3”, 290 pounds, Memphis, TN

OG Jeremy Ward, 3-star, 6’4”, 290 pounds, Pottsville, AR

WR D’Arthur Cowan, 3-star, 6’1’, 175 pounds, Olive Branch, MS

WR Keon Hatcher, 4-star, 6’1”, 195 pounds, Owasso, OK

WR Eric Hawkins, 3-star, 6’5”, 220, Longview, TX

WR #Demetrius Wilson, 3-star, 6’2”, 170 pounds, Glendale, AZ

WR McKale McKay, 3-star, 6’6”, 192 pounds, Louisville, KY

RB Nathan Holmes, 3-star, 6’1”, 180 pounds, Port Arthur, TX

RB Donovan Roberts, 3-star, 6’0”, 200 pounds, Norman, OK

RB Jonathan Williams, 4-star, 5’11”, 205 pounds, Allen, TX

TE/DE Jeremy Sprinkle, 3-star, 6’6”, 215, White Hall, AR

TE *Demetrius Dean, 3-star, 6’3”, 250 pounds, Fayetteville, AR

CB Ray Buchanan Jr., 3-star, 5’10”, 170 pounds, Suwanee, GA

CB Jared Collins, 3-star, 5’11”, 170 pounds, Tulsa, OK

FS Will Hines, 3-star, 6’1”, 175 pounds, Waco, TX

SS Defonta Lowe, 3-star, 6’2”, 180 pounds, Bearden, AR

LB A.J. Turner, 3-star, 6’3”, 200 pounds, Lepanto, AR

LB Vin Ascolese, 3-star, 6’2”, 215 pounds, New Bergen, NJ

LB Otha Peters, 4-star, 6’1”, 220 pounds, Covington, LA

DE Brandon Lewis, 3-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Memphis, TN

DE JaMichael Winston, 3-star, 6’6”, 230 pounds, Prichard, AL

DE Darius Philon, 3-star, 6’1”, 282 pounds, Prichard, AL

DE Deatrich Wise Jr., 4-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Carrolton, TX

DE Taiwan Johnson, 3-star, 6’3”, 240 pounds, Manvel, TX

DE *#Austin Flynn, 3-star, 6’4”, 250 pounds, Los Angeles Harbor CC

*Early enrollee at University of Arkansas

# Denotes junior college player

Position by position breakdown of Arkansas 2012 verbal commitments:

Offensive line: two

Running backs: three

Wide receivers: five

Quarterbacks: none

Tight ends: two

Defensive line: six

Linebackers: three

Safeties: two

Cornerbacks: two

Kickers: none