Kansas hoops recruit surprises with decision to try football

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

To say that Prestonwood (Texas) Christian Academy rising senior Zach Peters is picking an interesting time to try out varsity football is an understatement. Sure, plenty of seniors will take to the football field after taking a year or two off from the sport, whether for reasons of injury, academics or other issues.

The difference is that Peters will also be the recipient of a basketball scholarship to one of the top basketball programs in the country: The Kansas Jayhawks.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Peters will be a wide receiver and tight end for Prestonwood Christian's varsity team two years after he caught 11 passes for 142 yards for the school's freshman team.

Prestonwood Christian Academy forward Zach Peters
Prestonwood Christian Academy forward Zach Peters

Of course, in the two years since Peters last strapped on a helmet, he has emerged as a nationally ranked power forward prospect. A longtime member of the powerful Team Texas AAU squad, Peters has been a highly touted recruit since before he began high school at Prestonwood Christian, and he has only enhanced that reputation in the course of his prep career.

Naturally, any 6-foot-9, 235-pound athlete who can run the way Peters can is going to be a highly sought after contributor to any high school football team, so it's no surprise that Prestonwood Christian coach Chris Cunningham welcomed him back to the squad with open arms.

What is a surprise is that Peters is willing to undertake the risk to play football after refusing to do just that for two consecutive years. He'll only attend high school once, and the 2011 season will be Peters' last chance to suit up in a football uniform, barring an Antonio Gates-like shock NFL career after he leaves the hardwood. That would explain the emotional pull back to the field for a sport which is the all-encompassing obsession of the Lone Star State.

Still, to risk a potential injury that could sideline Peters for even part of his senior season and slow his smooth transition into the Kansas basketball program is a risk. Whether or not it's a risk worth taking will depend on individual interpretation.

For Peters, evidently it's a chance he's willing to take.

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