‘Freakish’ Peat poised for bright future on the Farm 

click to enlarge next stanford star? - Many recruiting forecasters expected Andrus Peat to sign with Nebraska, where his brother plays football. Instead, Peat signed on with Stanford. - US PRESSWIRE FILE PHOTO
  • us presswire file photo
  • next stanford star?Many recruiting forecasters expected Andrus Peat to sign with Nebraska, where his brother plays football. Instead, Peat signed on with Stanford.

STANFORD —The true freshman out of Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Ariz., is one of three five-star offensive line recruits making noise in Cardinal camp this summer. While it’s too early to gauge which of these blue chips (including Kyle Murphy and Joshua Garnett) will emerge as the anchor of what some are calling the best offensive line class in college football history, Peat comes in as the most highly touted because of his "freakish" agility.

"You should not be that tall and that young and move the way he does," coach David Shaw said after referring to Peat’s agility as "freakish."

Peat’s size speaks for itself. He’s 6-foot-7, 308 pounds, with room to grow. His father, Todd Peat, was an NFL lineman for six seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders and the Phoenix Cardinals and he would spend roughly 10 hours a week mulling over tape with his son in high school.

But the Sporting News honored Peat as the nation’s top recruit last year (he was ranked No. 8 by MaxPreps and No. 9 by ESPNU) because he has the feet and quickness to be an elite blind-side tackle in the NFL someday. He also started on a high school basketball team that won a state title in Arizona last year.

"When you see him on the basketball court, his footwork is off the charts," Corona del Sol boys’ basketball coach Sammy Duane Jr. said. "When we would switch screens last year, he could get out to the 3-point line, top of the key, and defend a guard."

Peat doesn’t just have the physical tools, though. His high school football coach described him as a cerebral player.

"He’s likes the X’s and O’s, the strategy," coach Tom Joseph said. "I’m sure with the blocking schemes Stanford has, he’s just going to absorb it."

Peat received scholarship offers from every Pac-12 Conference school and most of the major programs in the country last year. His brother, Todd Peat Jr., is a defensive tackle at Nebraska and many recruiters expected Andrus to follow suit.

"I’m kind of a quiet guy, so I think [Stanford] is a perfect fit," Andrus said.

Duane said he caught a glimpse of Peat’s humility during recruiting season last year. He could have easily shrugged off the basketball season, graduated early and headed off to Stanford; instead he stuck with his team.

"He stayed committed to his friends and teammates in basketball through the whole thing," Duane said. "In this day and age, kids don’t do that anymore."

Shaw hasn’t ruled out the possibility that Peat or one of the other true freshmen could start at some point this year.

But Peat, who’s missed some time in camp with a small fracture in his hand, said he’s just focused on catching up right now.

"I think I can play, I’m just adjusting," he said.

Andrus Peat has all the raw tools to be Stanford’s next top-five NFL draft pick. But first he needs to strap on the pads and play a live college football game.

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Paul Gackle

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