Helmholdt: Watch out for Xavier Peters' ranking

Justin Rowland, Publisher
Cats Illustrated

Xavier Peters is creating a buzz.

The West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West prospect has been a hot commodity for months, as a participant at The Opening in Beaverton, Oreg., and as a Kentucky linebacker commitment who also drew offers from some of the nation’s top programs.

But this time the buzz has more to do with what Peters is actually doing on the high school football field than his measurables, athleticism or perceived ceiling.

Rivals.com Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt recently attended the Lakota West-Fairfield game in Ohio, which also featured five-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman. But it was Peters, not Carman, that stole the show from Helmholdt’s point of view.

Listen to the full Rivals Rating podcast here (Peters discussion starts around the 37 minute mark).

As Helmholdt and Southeast analyst Chad Simmons spoke about prospects who have caught their attention early in the 2017 season, Peters quickly came up.

Simmons talked about some of the top quarterbacks he’s been able to watch, and then Helmholdt chimed in with who has stood out to him.

“Once they get this guy on campus I think he could make an immediate impact,” Helmholdt said. “That’s Xavier Peters. Listed as an outside linebacker out of Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio. This was a guy who hadn’t seen since his junior season. We saw him walking around but we hadn’t seen him perform, so, coming out of his junior season he was certainly a guy we were looking at on the cusp of four-star status. We wanted to see a little bit more. Ends up being that we haven’t had a chance to do that until the senior year, and he played against Fairfield and five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman. Weren’t a lot of head to head battles between the two even though Peters did mostly play a defensive end position.

“But he’s now 6’4, probably 225 pounds. He has that hybrid ability. What was most impressive about Peters was how many plays he tracked down across the field and ended up tackling a guy 15 yards down the field, that he caught from his opposite defensive end position. Extremely athletic, fast, explosive, dominated at the point of attack. That’s important if he’s going to transition down to that defensive end position. The questions we had about Xavier Peters have been answered. We’ve still got a couple of months before those ranking meetings but he’s certainly in very strong consideration for getting that bump up,” Helmholdt concluded.

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