BASSFIELD, MS (WDAM) - In a Bassfield locker room filled with college and NFL talent, Jamal Peters always seemed to stand out. At one point, he was ranked the No. 1 high school prospect in Mississippi.
However, Peters knows he’d be nowhere without his Bassfield brothers pushing him every day.
"Practice was so challenging,” Peters said. “It's like we were competing with each other every day. Like even on a Monday if we're not in pads, we're trying to beat each other in sprints. Just having each other on the same team was like so scary. A lot of schools were scared to play us. Even though we were small, we were a powerhouse. People always say the Alabama of 2A."
Four straight state championships (2012-2015) will earn you that reputation. Peters didn’t know much about losing when he stepped onto Mississippi State’s campus in 2015.
The cornerback tallied 99 tackles, ten pass breakups and forced five turnovers during his four years in Starkville.
At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he provides a physicality other cornerbacks cannot. Yet, there was a time when Peters wasn’t the brawny football player NFL scouts see today.
"Alvin Moore, he's the reason why I'm probably physical now,” said Peters in reference to his former Bassfield teammate and current Houston Texan. “Eighth grade I was so scared, intimidated by him because he was bigger than me. I was so small. He used to put me on my butt 24/7. Jerome Keys, I was kind of scared of him too. My sophomore year I actually tackled him and I just knew, [football] was my way to get out of here."
Peters thought his football career was over when three games into his senior season with the Bulldogs he tore his MCL and PCL.
But Bassfield taught him hard work. Peters has grinded back to become projected NFL Draftee this weekend.
“I’ve dreamed about this so much,” Peters said. “I remember actually telling my mom, ‘I’m going to get recruited, I’m going to be a top prospect. I’m going to go to one big school and hopefully I’ll be in the NFL.’ I remember telling her that and it felt like I was just graduating. Now to be in this position, this is a position that many people don’t get. I’m just blessed.”