Owls Land Versatile Oklahoma Athlete

The word "athlete" is not all-encompassing enough to describe newest Owl commit Turner Petersen. We'll just call him "great". More on Petersen inside...

When James Casey announced Monday he would make himself eligible for the NFL Draft this spring most Rice fans thought they'd never see another one like him.

Well Rice fans, you may not have to wait long. Oklahoma City Heritage Hall athlete Turner Petersen could be the guy who makes Casey's departure a little less painful. And much like Casey, he is exceptional on, and off, the field.

Petersen committed to the Owls this week over offers from Tulsa, Navy, and Georgetown; and heavy interest from Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

"I've been thinking about Rice for a long time. They've been recruiting me the longest. They've been faithful and loyal to me and I waited to make my commit because when I did I wanted to be faithful and loyal to the school I committed to."

Rice offered Petersen way back in June.

"I remember when the letter (from Rice) came with my offer. I got sort of a charge when I opened it. I waited to commit though because I wanted to see if anything else developed. I think its a sign that I'm going where I'm supposed to be. I've prayed about this for a long while asking God to lead me where he wants me to be. Rice is that place. I made my decision to commit about 2 weeks ago but wanted to give myself another week after that to see if there was any doubt. There is no doubt - I'm done. I'm going to be a Rice Owl."

Petersen has cancelled all other visits.

Though he played mostly Quarterback this year in leading Heritage Hall to the Oklahoma 2A State Title - he also played Running Back, Wide Receiver, Safety, Linebacker, Kicker and Punter. And he played with a sprained elbow.

The 6-2 205 Petersen is one of those rare players that can just do just about anything on the football field.

His explosive athleticism is a big reason...

- 4.51 seconds in the forty...

- 4.02 seconds in the pro shuttle...

- 35" vertical jump...

- 335 pound bench press...

And here's what that talent created this year...

1,351 yards rushing on 162 carries; an 8.34 yard average. 22 touchdowns.

1,224 yards passing on 70-of-120. Petersen threw for 15 touchdowns and was intercepted only once in 2008.

105 yards receiving on 8 catches. He caught a touchdown pass.

There's more.

On Defense he had 87 tackles and 5 interceptions.

Uh, still not finished.

Petersen also punted for Heritage Hall, averaging almost 39 yards per punt on 33 attempts.

As a sophomore on the swim team, Petersen posted the 2nd fastest time in the state that year in the 50 yd Freestyle. He qualified as an All American in the event last year.

He was MVP of the Soccer Team last year as a Center Forward.

Rice has recruited Turner as an "Athlete". Obviously he could play 4 or 5 different positions at Rice.

He was recently named Oklahoma All-State and OKC's "Little" City Offensive Player-of-the-Year. Last year he was Little City as a Wide Receiver. He also finished 2nd at the Oklahoma Top Gun Quarterback Camp last summer.

As impressive as he is on the field, he may be even moreso off of it. As you would guess, Petersen is an outstanding student, but is also very active in community service. Here are some of his service activities.

He was named 1 of 5 students to receive "Outstanding Junior" at his high school which recognizes academics, athletics, and community service.

He is part of his school's "Servant Leadership" program which mentors to underprivileged children each Friday at local schools. He is President of non-profit organization "Tammy's House": chartered to help children with cancer. The group has raised over $60,000 over four years and opened two family rooms in the Oklahoma Univeristy Childrens' Hospital for both the children and their families to relax and find comfort.

He also participated in a large group of high school students who travelled on a one week Mission Trip to Mexico last year. He led a student unit focused on building a cinder block home for very needy families in northern Mexico; completing the home during the trip and then assisting others to complete their project. Petersen also mentored within the Mexican community that the group was serving.

It's simply amazing what this young man does on and off the field.

I'm sure you'll agree that Turner Petersen isn't your average student-athlete. Then again Rice isn't your average University.

You'll also agree that Rice Coach D.J. Eliot did and outstanding job of finding and recruiting this special young man.

Wherever he plays at Rice, he is already exceptional. Are you proud to have him Rice? Let me answer for you, "thrilled beyond words!"

Welcome to Rice, Turner!

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