Today I’m going to start a new series about the most famous LSU players who wore my favorite number: seven.
Traditionally, the number eighteen has been passed onto the hardest working player and is seen as LSU’s most honored number. However, since Patrick Peterson (2008-10) wore the number seven, it has been worn by the team’s superstar player, such as Tyrann Mathieu and most recently, Leonard Fournette. I am going to take a closer look at the careers of these high-flying Bengal Tigers. By the time we finish with this series, we’ll be ready for the spring game and the NFL draft.
While every LSU fan remembers Ali Highsmith sporting the #7 in the 2007 National Championship against Ohio State, the first superstar to wear it and who started the number seven frenzy was Patrick Peterson. Patrick Peterson played cornerback and special teams and is easily one of my favorite players of all time. While we didn’t win any national championships with him during his time at LSU (in fact, we won it the year before he started and lost it the year after he left), his time was certainly right in the middle of Les Miles’ golden era. Peterson led one of the best defenses LSU ever had.
Coming out of high school he was a highly decorated five star cornerback, one of the top players in the nation. As soon as LSU lured him out of Pompano Beach, Florida, he stared in all thirteen games as a freshman. He built up from there. In 2010, he was in the Heisman race and had national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks and kick returners in the nation.
Coming out of LSU, Peterson was no dark horse. He had first team All American and other honors. The Cardinals picked him up in the first round, with the fifth pick. They realized quickly that they didn’t waste their pick. On his first play in the preseason of his rookie year in the NFL, he picked it off and returned it all the way for a touchdown.
Unlike other good corners, such as Richard Sherman or Josh Norman, Patrick Peterson never played dirty or talked trash. He let his actions speak for themselves. Patrick Peterson has been playing for the same amount of time as Josh Norman, but has twice as many interceptions. Peterson has a rare combination of size and speed, even for the National Football League. He is just over six feet tall and weighs 219 pounds, but amazingly he can run a 4.34 sec 40-yard dash! He can keep up with speedy receivers while still making it hard for quarterback to get the ball over the top of him. He also uses his tremendous strength to make tackles. For all these reasons, Patrick Peterson is one of the greatest corners in the NFL.