Top candidate to replace three-year starter Courtney Ledyard at SAM linebacker . . . made the switch from defensive end to outside linebacker during spring drills . . . will continue to see some action at defensive end as a designated pass rusher . . . preseason second-team All-Big Ten selection by The Sporting News . . .
AS A JUNIOR: Honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the media in 1998 . . . shared MSUís Outstanding Underclass Lineman Award with defensive tackle Robert Newkirk and offensive tackle Greg Robinson-Randall . . . appeared in 11 games (DNP vs. Colorado State) in 1998, including three starts at right defensive end (vs. Purdue, Illinois and Penn State) . . . inserted into the starting lineup after All-American Robaire Smith suffered a broken right leg in the first quarter vs. Ohio State . . . played a total of 249.5 minutes . . . ranked third among defensive lineman in tackles with 58 (40 solos, 18 assists) . . . led the Spartans in tackles for losses (18 for 75 yards), sacks (10 for 57) and fumbles caused (4) . . . ranked among the Big Ten leaders in sacks (sixth) and tackles for losses (seventh) . . . played his best in the big games . . . had seven tackles (6-1) in the í98 season finale vs. Penn State and tied MSUís single-season record for tackles for losses with his 6-yard sack . . . also returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown vs. Penn State . . . registered seven stops (3-4) vs. Illinois, including two behind the line of scrimmage (3 yards) . . . earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording 11 tackles (10-1) vs. top-ranked Ohio State, including a school-record seven for losses (42 yards) and four sacks (30) . . . also forced three fumbles vs. Ohio State . . . burst onto the national scene with a stellar prime-time performance vs. Notre Dame . . . had four tackles (2-2), including a sack (5 yards), and returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown vs. Notre Dame . . .
JUNIOR COLLEGE, HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: First-team NJCAA All-American . . . Seaboard Conference Defensive Player of the Year had 20 1/2 sacks as a sophomore . . .recorded 19 1/2 sacks as a freshman . . . played for Coach Jim Burner at Valley Forge Military Junior College in Wayne, Pa. . . .ranked among the nationís top defensive linemen in 1995 by Tom Lemmingís Prep Football Report . . . earned all-state and all-metro honors as a senior at Crossland High School in Temple Hills, Md. . . . named Chesapeake Classic MVP in í96 . . .played for Coach Larry Layman at Crossland . . . runs 4.7 in the 40 . . . born July 28, 1978 . . . plans to pursue a degree in business.
Petersonís Career Statistics
G/GS UT AT TM TFL-Yds. Sacks INT-Yds. 1998 11/3 40 18 58 18-75 10-57 1-23
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