Patrick Peterson

Not to be confused with Patrick Petersen.
Patrick Peterson

refer to caption

Peterson in 2014
No. 21Arizona Cardinals
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-07-11) July 11, 1990
Place of birth: Pompano Beach, Florida
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 203 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school: Pompano Beach (FL) Ely
College: LSU
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2016
Tackles: 283
Sacks: 2.0
Pass deflections: 62
Interceptions: 20
Total return yards: 1,671
Total touchdowns: 5
Player stats at

Patrick De'mon Peterson (born July 11, 1990) is an American football cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Louisiana State University where he earned All-American honors. Peterson was selected fifth overall by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He is considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.[1][2][3]

Early years

Peterson was born in Pompano Beach, Florida on July 11, 1990. He attended Blanche Ely High School, where he played running back and defensive back for the Blanche Ely Mighty Tigers high school football team. In his junior campaign he recorded 11 total touchdowns on offense, while recording seven interceptions and 54 tackles on defense. He also returned three kick-offs for touchdowns and added 10 rushes for 213 yards. As a senior, Peterson compiled 733 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns (9 rushing, one kick return and one punt return). Defensively, he had 21 tackles and five interceptions. Besides numerous All-American team selections, Peterson was named Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today and played in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

He was also on the school's track & field team, where he ran the 100 meters in 10.92 seconds and the 200 meters in 22.24 seconds. He was also a member of the 4×100m relay (41.41 s) squad.[4]


A consensus five-star prospect by all major recruiting services, Peterson was rated as the nation's fifth best overall player by and No. 8 by ESPN. Prior to his senior season he verbally committed to play for the University of Miami, but continued to look at other schools.[5] By November 2007, Peterson had reopened his recruiting process and acknowledged interest in Georgia, USC, Florida, and LSU.[6] He later dropped Georgia and USC from his list and added Florida State,[7] but eventually announced his decision to attend LSU at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.[8]

College career

Peterson attended Louisiana State University, where he played for coach Les Miles's LSU Tigers football team from 2008 to 2010.

Freshman year

One of the most decorated high school players to ever attend LSU, Peterson played 13 games as a true freshman. He started the final four games of season, including the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Georgia Tech. Peterson finished the season with 41 tackles, one interception and three pass breakups, while also adding a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.

Sophomore year

In his sophomore season, Peterson emerged as one of the top defensive backs in the Southeastern Conference. In a game against standout wide receiver A. J. Green of Georgia,[9] Peterson was able to hold Green to just four catches.[10]

By mid-season, Peterson tied for fourth in the league with seven passes defended, and was named the SEC's "Most Improved Player" by ESPN's Chris Low.[11]

Another highly anticipated match-up occurred when Peterson went against Julio Jones of Alabama.[12] Peterson's LSU Tigers were ranked 9th in the country and traveled to face Nick Saban and the #1 ranked Crimson Tide. The Tigers were down by six points late in the fourth quarter when Peterson stepped in front of a pass from Greg McElroy to Julio Jones for what seemed like an interception. Multiple CBS camera angles showed that Peterson was able to get at least one foot in bounds.[13] However, even after review, the SEC officiating crew called the pass incomplete, saying that Peterson was not able to get any foot in bounds. Alabama would go on to kick a field goal on that drive and won 24–15. The missed interception call quickly became infamous and was debated by many media outlets.[14]

Peterson finished 2009 with 52 tackles. His 43 solo tackles were second on the team behind linebacker Kelvin Sheppard. Peterson returned an interception for a touchdown against Mississippi State, and he returned a blocked field goal against Ole Miss for a touchdown. He was also named a 2009 Second-Team All-American by The Sporting News, a 2009 First-Team All-SEC performer by ESPN, and a 2009 Second-Team All-SEC performer by the AP.[10]

Junior year

Peterson was named to the preseason watch lists for the Nagurski Award, the Thorpe Award, the Ronnie Lott Award, the Walter Camp Award, and the Chuck Bednarik Award. It was announced during the summer of 2010 that Peterson would begin returning punts and kickoffs due to his size, speed, and athleticism. With this added dimension to his game, and his dominance as a cornerback, Peterson began being mentioned as a dark horse for the 2010 Heisman Trophy award, presented to the best college football player every year.[15] Only one defensive player has ever won the Heisman Trophy, Charles Woodson.[16]

Peterson began his Heisman campaign against North Carolina in the 2010 Chic-fil-a Kickoff. The Tigers won 30–24 and Peterson was terrific.[17] In his debut as a returner, Peterson had a school-record 257 yards returning punts and kickoffs, 244 yards coming in the first half. He returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown and consistently gave the Tiger's offense good field position. His 257-yard performance ranks second all-time in the SEC behind Mississippi State's Nick Turner and his 266-yard performance. Peterson was named Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance.[18] He was also named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week.[19]

Peterson had two punt returns against Vanderbilt for 8 yards in week two as the Tigers rolled past the Commodores. He also returned two kickoffs for 51 yards, to go along with one tackle.[20]

In week three of the 2010 season, the 2–0 Tigers hosted 1–1 Mississippi State for LSU's first home game of the year. The Tiger defense suffocated Mississippi State's offense and Peterson strengthened his campaign with two acrobatic interceptions for LSU. He also returned one kickoff 39 yards and one punt 2 yards to go along with four solo tackles.[20]

Peterson entertained the home crowd again in week four against Top-25 foe West Virginia. With the game tied 0–0 early in the first quarter, West Virginia went to attempt a mid-range field goal and Peterson was able to leap from behind the line of scrimmage and block the kick. The Tiger defense forced West Virginia to punt later in the half. Peterson fielded the punt on his own 40-yard line and raced 60-yards up the middle of the field for a touchdown and a 17–0 LSU lead. Peterson struck the Heisman pose in the North end zone of Tiger Stadium, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Peterson was almost single-handedly responsible for 10 points in the game that ended with LSU winning 20–14. The national sports media began comparing Peterson to Woodson, who actually had worse statistics than Peterson through his first four games during his Heisman winning season.[21] Peterson was again named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.[22] He also recorded 1 solo tackle.[20]

Week five saw the LSU Tigers take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Peterson and the LSU defense limited Tennessee to 217 yards of offense and the Tigers won 16–14.[23] Peterson recorded 1 solo tackle and 3 assisted tackles. He had 3 punt returns for 30 yards and 3 kickoff returns for 64 yards. The LSU Tigers improved to 5–0 and 3–0 in the SEC.

Peterson's efforts helped the Tigers to a No. 12 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 as well as a No. 9 ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll Top 25.[24] Through week 5 of the 2010 season, he was 3rd in Division 1-A in punt return average at 23.6 yards per attempt (12 for 283), 1st in punt return touchdowns with 2, and 22nd in kickoff return average at 28.2 yards per attempt. Peterson was also tied for 30th in the country with two interceptions.[25] He was in the top five of most straw polls regarding the 2010 Heisman Trophy.[26] In an effort to jumpstart the struggling offense for the Tigers, Peterson practiced as a wide receiver and a running back on offense. Following the season, he was a first-team All-SEC selection, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.[27]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht WtArm lengthHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 0 in 219 lb32 in9 1/4 in 4.34 s 1.49 s 2.44 s 4.07 s 6.58 s 38 in 10 ft 6 in 15 reps
All values from NFL Combine [28]

Peterson was selected fifth overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft. Peterson signed a four-year contract with undisclosed terms.[29]

2011: Rookie year

On his first NFL play, in a preseason game on August 27, 2011, Peterson intercepted Philip Rivers and returned it for a touchdown.

Peterson scored his first regular season touchdown on a Cardinals record 89-yard punt return late in the 4th quarter to put Arizona ahead for good as they beat Cam Newton's Carolina Panthers 28–21 in week 1 on September 11, 2011.

Peterson scored his second touchdown on an 82-yard punt return late in the 2nd quarter to extend Arizona's lead over the Baltimore Ravens in week 8 on October 30, 2011.

Peterson scored again on a punt return on November 6, 2011 against the St. Louis Rams. During the overtime period, Peterson fielded the punt at the one-yard line, evaded several would-be tacklers, and scored on a 99-yard return to win the game. In the same game, Peterson intercepted a flea-flicker pass from Sam Bradford intended for Brandon Lloyd.

He tied the single-season record for punt return touchdowns with his fourth, accomplishing the feat against St. Louis on November 27.[30] He became the only player in NFL history with four punt-return touchdowns of at least 80 yards in a single season. For his rookie season of 2011, Peterson started all 16 games with 1 sack, 64 tackles, 2 interceptions, 13 passes defended, and 2 fumble recoveries. He also produced 699 return yards for 4 touchdowns on 44 punt return opportunities.

Peterson was selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl and was the only rookie to be selected to the 2011 All-Pro First Team. He was selected as a kick return specialist.


In Week 16 of 2012 against the Chicago Bears, Peterson was used on offense, though Chicago won 28–13.[31] For the 2012 season, Peterson started all 16 games making 55 tackles with 7 interceptions, 17 passes defended, and a National League-leading 5 fumble recoveries. He returned 51 punts producing 426 return yards. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl for a second straight year.

In Week 2 of 2013 against the Detroit Lions, Peterson had a reception for 17 yards while also throwing a pass for 17 yards to Kerry Taylor, making him the first defender to catch and complete a pass in the same game since at least the 1970 merger. Peterson started all 16 games in 2013 making 42 tackles with 3 interceptions, 13 passes defended, and 2 fumble recoveries. He returned 33 punts for 198 return yards and 1 kickoff attempt for 18 yards. Peterson was a Pro Bowl selection for the third consecutive year.

Peterson in the 2014 season.

On July 29, 2014, Peterson signed a five-year contract extension with the Cardinals, worth $70 million with $48 million guaranteed and a $15.3 million signing bonus.[32] During the 2014 season, Peterson made 29 tackles with 3 interceptions, 8 passes defended, a forced fumble, and 3 fumble recoveries. With the Cardinals finishing the season 11-5, it was good enough for the team to clinch a wild card spot but the Cardinals lost 16-27 to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Wild Card Round.

Shortly after the 2014 NFL season Peterson announced that he had been diagnosed with diabetes. He stated that this affected the performance of his 2014 season. He told reporters that he had the disease under control and was ready for the 2015 season.[33]

Career NFL statistics

Career statistics Tackles Sacks Interceptions Other
Season Team Games Solo Ast Total Sack Int Yds IntTD DefTD FFum FRec PD Safety
2011 ARI 16 59 5 64 1.0 2 1 0 0 0 2 13 0
2012 ARI 16 52 3 55 0 7 64 0 0 0 5 16 0
2013 ARI 16 40 2 42 0 3 59 0 0 0 2 13 0
2014 ARI 16 43 7 50 1.0 3 30 1 0 0 0 7 0
2015 ARI 16 35 0 35 0.0 2 41 0 0 1 0 8 0
Career 80 229 17 246 2.0 17 195 1 0 1 9 57 0


NFL records

Cardinals franchise records


Peterson went by the last name "Johnson" when he signed with LSU, but formally changed it to "Peterson" in August 2008. His parents are Patrick and Shandra Peterson of Fort Lauderdale, FL. He is a relative of NFL players Bryant McFadden, Walter McFadden, Sinorice Moss and Santana Moss (his maternal cousins).[36] Peterson's younger brother, Avery Johnson (who has also changed his last name to "Peterson"), was a member of the ESPNU 150 Watch List in 2012.[37]

On April 7, 2015, Peterson revealed he has type two diabetes.[33]


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