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Xavier Peters has to “handle business” the right way if he wants chance to play

Xavier Peters (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

When Kentucky had a verbal commitment from Ohio linebacker Xavier Peters all I heard was what an outstanding player he could be.

After he de-committed from Kentucky, went to Florida State and then transferred to UK, all I heard was what an outstanding player he could be.

I can even remember Vince Marrow telling me that coming into college, Peters was far, far ahead physically of Josh Allen — who became the consensus national defensive player of the year his senior season.

Yet since his arrival at Kentucky, he has played only briefly in three games after getting a waiver for eligibility last season and has yet to make a significant play.

So will that change during the 2020 season?

“Xavier, that’s up to him,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. “As I mentioned before, I don’t want to get into specifics or try to throw him under the bus, but we have expectations here.”

Stoops has avoided specifically saying why Peters cannot go on the field but has hinted it’s not because of his playing ability as much as a lack of discipline off the field.

“We’re going to do things a certain way, we’re going to do things right,” the Kentucky coach said. “That goes for him or anybody else.

“When you reach those expectations and play to our standard and do the things to our standard, as far as going to school and tutors and workouts and you can handle your business, then you’ll have an opportunity to do it on the field.”

Stoops left no wiggle room here and I respect him for that.

“Until then, there won’t be any (opportunity to play).  Again, I’m talking in general.  You can read between the lines or however you want to do it.  He’s doing some good things, he’s doing better,” Stoops said.

Read between the lines? No need for that because Stoops made it pretty simple — get to class, accept tutoring, be in the weight room on time. Seems that should not be that hard for Peters but apparently it has been.

5 comments

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  1. Neither Coach Stoops or his program need this guy ! Back in the day he would have been known as a clubhouse “disrupter” and dealt with accordingly. Regardless his abilities clubhouse harmony is, or should be, most important.

  2. So much respect for the way Coach Stoops is managing this program.

  3. I am glad Stoops is not backing down. Once you do, you open it for all the other players and you can’t put the Genie back in the bottle.
    No player is above the program.
    Really glad we have Stoops.

  4. I agree Professor!!

  5. Apparently, this kid had the same problem at FSU. I hope he realizes that not many get a second and now third chance to play college football. Stoops is right in how he has handled this. I am sure that Peters’ athletic skills are off the chart, but until his level of maturity and discipline reach that level, he shouldn’t play.

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