Patrick Peterson
Peterson in 2012.
No. 21     Arizona Cardinals
Cornerback / Return specialist
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-07-11) July 11, 1990 (age 29)
Place of birth: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
High School: Pompano Beach (FL) Ely
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 219 lb (99 kg)
Career information
College: Louisiana State
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Debuted in 2011 for the Arizona Cardinals
Career history
* Arizona Cardinals ( 2011–present)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* 3× Pro Bowl (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • AP First-Team All-Pro (2011, 2013)
  • Most punt return yards by a rookie in a season: 699 (2011)
  • Most punt returns in a season for touchdown (tied): 4 (2011)
  • Longest game-winning punt return touchdown in overtime: 99 yards (2011)
  • NFL Player of the Month (2011)
  • 2× NFL Player of the Week (2011)
  • Unanimous All-American (2010)
  • Thorpe Award (2010)
  • Bednarik Award (2010)
  • SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2010)
  • First-team All-SEC (2010)
  • USA Today High School Defensive Player of the Year (2007)
  • USA Today High School All-American (2007)
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
Tackles     161
Quarterback sacks     1.0
Interceptions     12
Punt return TDs     4

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 for Louisiana State University (LSU), earned All-American honors, and was recognized as the best college defensive back in the country. He was drafted fifth overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Early yearsEdit

Peterson attended Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Florida, 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.

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.[1] By November 2007, Peterson had reopened his recruiting process and acknowledged interest in Georgia, USC, Florida, and LSU.[2] He later dropped Georgia and USC from his list and added Florida State,[3] but eventually announced his decision to attend LSU at the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.[4]

College careerEdit

Peterson attended Louisiana State University, where he played for the LSU Tigers football team from 2008 to 2010.

Freshman seasonEdit

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 seasonEdit

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,[5] Peterson was able to hold Green to just four catches.[6]

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.[7]

Another highly anticipated match-up occurred when Peterson went against Julio Jones of Alabama.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[6]

Junior seasonEdit

Patrick 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.[11] Only one defensive player has ever won the Heisman Trophy, Charles Woodson.[12]

Peterson began his Heisman campaign against North Carolina in the 2010 Chic-fil-a Kickoff. The Tigers won 30–24 and Peterson was terrific.[13] 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.[14] He was also named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week.[15]

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.[16]

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.[16]

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 that would have silenced the raucous crowd in Death Valley, however 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, but putting the Tiger faithful into a frenzy. 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.[17] Peterson was again named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.[18] He also recorded 1 solo tackle.[16]

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.[19] 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 have helped the Tigers to a #12 ranking in the Assosciated Press Top 25 as well as a #9 ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll Top 25.[20] Through week 5 of the 2010 season, he is 3rd in Division 1-A in punt return average at 23.6-yds per attempt (12–283), 1st in punt return touchdowns with 2, and 22nd in kickoff return average at 28.2-yds per attempt. Peterson is also tied for 30th in the country with two interceptions.[21] He was in the top five of most straw polls regarding the 2010 Heisman Trophy.[22] In an effort to jumpstart the struggling offense for the Tigers, Peterson has begun practicing as a wide receiver and a running back on offense. He may even take some snaps out of the wildcat formation.[23] When Charles Woodson won the Heisman, he too played offense at times, scoring three offensive touchdowns. Following the season, he was a first-team All-SEC selection, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.[24]

College StatisticsEdit

Patrick Peterson – #7 – CB/PR/KR – LSU Tigers
2008 Freshman 13 13 32 9 2 1 1
2009Sophomore 13 13 43 9 2 37 1 18.5 1
2010Junior 11 11 23 10 1.5 4 134 25.3 25 418 16.7 2 25 688 27.5
Career Totals37 37 98 28 3.5 7 171 1 16.6 1 1 12 283 23.6 2 9 254 28.2 -

Statistic Guide – GS = Games Started, GP = Games Played, UA = Unassisted Tackles (Solo), A = Assisted Tackles, TFL = Tackles For Loss, INT = Interceptions, INT-YDS = Interception Return Yards, INT – TDS = Interception Returned for Touchdown, AVG = Average yards per Interception, FR = Fumble Recoveries, FF = Fumble Forced, PR – ATT = Punt Return Attempts net of Fair Catches, PR – YDS = Punt Return Yards, AVG – Average Return yards per Attempt, PT – TDs = Punts Returned for Touchdowns, KR – ATT = Kickoff Return Attempts, KR – YDS = Kickoff Return Yards, AVG = Average yards per kickoff return attempt, KR – TDs = Kickoffs Returned for Touchdowns.[25][26][27][27]

Professional careerEdit

2011 NFL CombineEdit

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 0 in 219 lb 4.31 s 1.49 s 2.44 s 4.07 s 6.58 s 38 in 10 ft 6 in 15 rep

Arizona CardinalsEdit

Peterson was selected fifth overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft. Peterson signed a four-year contract with undisclosed terms.[28]

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

Peterson scored his first 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.[29] He is the only player in NFL history with four punt-return touchdowns of at least 80 yards in a single season.

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.[30]

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.

Career NFL StatisticsEdit

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 1 0 0 0 13 0
2012 ARI 16 52 3 55 0 7 64 0 0 0 0 17 0
2013 ARI 16 40 2 42 0 3 59 0 0 0 0 13 0
Career 48 151 10 161 1.0 12 124 1 0 0 0 42 0


NFL recordsEdit

Cardinals franchise recordsEdit

  • Longest punt return touchdown: 99 (2011)[32]
  • Most punt return touchdowns in a single season: 4 (2011)[32]
  • Most punt return yards in a single season: 699 (2011)[32]


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).[33] Peterson's younger brother, Avery Johnson is a member of the ESPNU 150 Watch List.[34] On June 16, 2012, Patrick Peterson married Antonique Larry, a native of New Orleans, LA.


  1. Kelly, Omar (April 5, 2007), "Ely's Johnson: UM's for me", South Florida Sun-Sentinel
  2. Higdon, Jason (November 5, 2007), "Johnson Looking at Four Schools",,
  3. Halley, Jim (January 5, 2008), "Seniors set to name college picks at U.S. Army All-American Bowl", USA Today,
  4. "Ely's Johnson selects LSU", Miami Herald, January 6, 2008
  5. "Georgia receiver A.J. Green says he lost sleep over suspension". The Florida Times-Union. September 29, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Football. "Patrick Peterson Bio – – The Official Web Site of LSU Tigers Athletics". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  7. Low, Chris (October 22, 2009), "A few more mid-season awards in the SEC", ESPN,
  8. Varney, James (November 4, 2009). "LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson will try to stop Alabama's Julio Jones". The Times-Picayune.
  9. Paulsen, John (November 9, 2009). "Screenshots of Patrick Peterson’s interception". The Scores Report.
  10. "LSU loss marred by missed-INT call - Andy Staples -". 2009-11-07. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  11. "Heisman Vote 2010 – presented by Nissan", ESPN,, retrieved September 29, 2010
  12. "University of Michigan's Charles Woodson named Heisman Trophy winner. (first defensive player to win)(Brief Article) – Jet | HighBeam Research – FREE trial". 1997-12-29. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  13. "Shepard, Peterson Give LSU Win Over UNC". LSU News. September 4, 2010.
  14. Football (2010-09-06). "Peterson Named Special Teams Player of the Week – – The Official Web Site of LSU Tigers Athletics". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  15. Football (2010-09-08). "Peterson Named Lott Player of the Week – – The Official Web Site of LSU Tigers Athletics". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "LSU – Individual Game-by-Game Summaries". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  17. "Looking for Heisman? Look no further than LSU's Peterson – NCAA Football". 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  18. [1][dead link]
  19. "Sec Blog – Espn". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  20. "2010 NCAA College Football Polls and Rankings for Week 9 – ESPN". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  21. "2010 NCAA College Football Stats – ESPN". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  22. "College Football Heisman Watch". 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  23. "Sports | Heisman Hopeful — Baton Rouge, LA". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  24. 2011 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 12 (2011). Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  25. Football. "LSU Football Statistics – – The Official Web Site of LSU Tigers Athletics". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  26. "LSU – Individual Game-by-Game Summaries". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  27. 27.0 27.1 "LSU – Individual Game-by-Game Summaries". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  29. Mayer, Larry (2012-12-23). "Bears set to battle Cardinals in Arizona". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  30. Mayer, Larry (2012-12-23). "Larry Mayer's Bears-Cardinals blog". Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 "Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals Kick & Punt Returns Single-Season Register".
  33. "The Cardinals’ Top Pick Was Raised to Succeed". April 30, 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  34. Avery Johnson 2012 Football Recruiting News – ESPN

External linksEdit

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