Georgia State’s Joseph Peterson plays like Roof, sounds like White

He plays like Ted Roof and sounds like Barry White.

Georgia State’s Joseph Peterson leaves an impression on and off the field.

Peterson, a true freshman from Dothan, Ala., will start for the Panthers at inside linebacker in Thursday’s season-opener against South Carolina State at the Georgia Dome.

He hammered his way into the starting lineup, beating upperclassman Robert Ferguson for the spot, by arriving in August with an intensity and instincts that coach Bill Curry said can’t be taught.

The last player to make such a favorable quick impression on Curry was Roof, whom Curry coached at Georgia Tech in early 1980s.

“I don’t want to say he came in took over but it was clear that he was going to be a factor,” Curry said of Roof. “He made a huge difference in the program. I haven’t seen anything to indicate that Joe is less likely to do that than Ted did.”

Roof became an All-American linebacker at Tech, before becoming a coach. He is now the defensive coordinator at Penn State.

With a voice as deep as rumbling thunder, Peterson said he just tries to play fast and wants his teammates to follow.

“I just play on a different speed,” he said. “I play with passion. I’m trying to get a lot of the guys to play with me like that, more passion, running to the ball. We will have a great defense this year. We are trying to achieve greatness.”

It may seem odd for a true freshman to talk about being a leader.

But Curry said southern Alabama, where Dothan is located, may be one of the most passionate football areas in the country. If players don’t play hard, and they don’t play fast, they don’t play.

At 220 pounds, Peterson already has the size to play inside. He said he’s still learning the playbook but he’s trying to lead by example and by encouraging his teammates, using his distinctive voice as often as he can.

Just don’t ask him to sing like White.

“I’m not a singer,” he said, laughing.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

Other tidbits about Peterson

  • He is majoring in sports medicine.
  • His favorite class is Speech.
  • He will have several relatives making the three-hour drive from Dothan from Saturday’s game.
  • Yes, he gets called Barry a lot around campus.

No news from NCAA

Georgia State has yet to hear from the NCAA regarding the eligibility of defensive linemen Theo Agnew and Nermin Delic. The NCAA has ruled on Bell. There is some paperwork that must be completed, but it appears that Bell will be eligible.

The coaching staff is cutting back Agnew’s reps with the first team, in case the NCAA rules that he must sit out this year. Delic, who transferred from Kentucky, hasn’t had many chances to work the first team because of various injuries. Bell, who transferred from Ohio, is the third-string quarterback. Agnew transferred from Massachusetts.

Delic and Bell both enrolled during summer school, while Agnew enrolled in August. However, Delic’s eligibility application wasn’t submitted at the same time as Bell’s because some additional documentation was needed. It was submitted before Agnew’s, though.

That’s a long way of saying to not expect a decision on Delic or Agnew in the next few days, which means they may miss the season opener. I wouldn’t say it’s a certainty, but it’s probable.

The decision is complicated because of Georgia State’s ascension to the FBS level. Players that transfer from one FBS school (like each of these three players) to another must sit out a year.

Am trying to confirm this, but I believe that among the things the NCAA must look out is when Georgia State began talking to the players, and when did the players decide to transfer in relation to when Georgia State decided it was going to join the Sun Belt. Georgia State’s conversations with Bell and Agnew began last year, before the Sun Belt conversations began in earnest (which may help Agnew). I’m not sure about Delic, but am going to try to find out.

Other stories you can read

Opening up the Georgia State mailbag

New depth chart released

Georgia State’s soccer team is 2-0, which  is remarkable considering what they’ve gone through

17 comments Add your comment

Max Sizemore

August 27th, 2012
2:29 pm

Doug, Roof was a linebacker, both at Central Gwinnett and at Tech.


August 27th, 2012
2:36 pm

Joe Pete is a beast! #44 in your program.

#HighVoltage coming to the Georgia Dome on Thursday night. #STATEOFSHOCK

Doug Roberson

August 27th, 2012
2:40 pm

Yep. Mental block. It’s fixed.


August 27th, 2012
2:45 pm

Sounds like we have recruited a number of really talented true freshmen to GSU. Nice to have players that can make and immediate impact. Looking forward to Thursday! Good luck to Joseph Peterson!


August 27th, 2012
2:47 pm

Good info on Peterson! Glad we have him and Ferguson… Go Panthers!

See you guys Thursday!


August 27th, 2012
2:50 pm

Sounds like a good get! Already a natural leader off the field, and beating out the competition on the field.

Wondering about this Delic fella’. He seems legit, but can’t seem to get past injuries.


August 27th, 2012
2:53 pm

I think SCSU is in for a #StateOfShock


August 27th, 2012
2:56 pm

It will be fun to watch Peterson play on Thursday.

Red Panther

August 27th, 2012
3:23 pm

Go Joe go; we can’t lose if the other team never scores


August 27th, 2012
4:39 pm

I am getting ready for thursday night, getting my ankles taped tomorrow night, will have my pregame meal at the varsity thursday at 3 pm, cant wait to see peterson, im so excited about this game, cant believe we are down to hours now…..GO PANTHERS


August 27th, 2012
5:16 pm

How about Peterson give us a sample of his Barry White sound.

Game Captian Dave

August 27th, 2012
5:35 pm

What the heck is up with this announcement that we will have “Game Captains’ instead of Team Captains? Has somebody gone insane?


August 27th, 2012
6:03 pm

Big brother you do what you got to do,
hit hard and I see you at the game. GO PANTHERS

[...] Joseph Peterson plays like Ted Roof, sounds like Barry White [...]


August 28th, 2012
10:04 am

Thank you. Your brother picked a great place to play football. Now come to the game and bring everyone you know to watch him leave it all on the field.

Chicken Bone

August 28th, 2012
12:52 pm

Wow! Joe Pete is for real and can’t wait for him and others to step up and take the PANTHERS to victory! I believe this is going to be the breakout year for G-STATE better known as GSU. VAA we are coming to see you soon!

[...] 2. How will the new defense perform? This year’s defense is faster and stronger than either of the previous two years. While the secondary, which features three of the four returning starters and upperclassmen at all four positions, was expected to be the strength, the front seven has performed better than expected in defensive coordinator Anthony Midget’s aggressive 4-2-5 scheme. Can it stop the run and can it hold up in the fourth quarter, two weaknesses last year? [...]