Robert Peele is okay with how his season is progressing. Just okay.
"Its going pretty good. We just came off a big win against Bullard...I fell that I'm playing pretty good I think, not bad. Still, not like I want to be playing even though I'm playing better than I was last season. I just want to continually get better."
It's telling that on a season where he's tallied 76 tackles, picked off two passes (each of which he took to the house) forced two fumbles and generally just made life difficult for opposing offenses, Peele thinks he's playing "just okay."
Peele is a playmaker, The interception return for a touchdown against Hoover went goal line to goal line. The 100-yarder was the second-longest interception return in school history. When he's not disrupting opposing offenses, he returns both punts and kickoffs. Although to hear him tell it, he's only back there to retain possession.
"I'm not really a big returner. I'm basically back there for sure hands. I ran back one punt, but that's about it."
Oh but what a punt return it was..
Clovis West came in ranked No. 16 in the nation by USA Today. The 76 yard punt return for a score came just before halftime giving Edison a 28-0 lead heading into the locker room. The Clovis West coach called it the critical play that "broke our back."
Something else to consider: Not every defensive back, even the star player, has sure enough hands to field kicks. Peele is special in other ways, leadership being chief among them. He is a team captain, like so many of the student-athletes the Cougs recruit and whom populate the WSU roster.
A BUZZ has surfaced recently that Peele is coming up to Washington State this weekend. Cougfan.com asked the 5-11 180-pound if he was indeed traveling to Pullman this weekend for an official visit along with teammate and current Cougar commit, Arkelon Hall. That's affirm.
"Yes, I do plan on that," said Peele.
Editor's note: Since we spoke with Peele, his plans have changed. He will not be coming on an official visit to Washington State this weekend. CF.C will keep you informed on when the official trip is rescheduled..
Peele doesn't have a set list of questions, it's mostly an exploratory mission. He wants to get a feel for Washington State -- What's the campus like? What's the football program like? How do things feel in Pullman? What kind of a town is it? A good Business school is also part of the equation.
"I'm going to check things out, just everything...to see how their program is, how their school is and what-not. I'm planning right now to major in Business Management, so a good Business school (is important).
Also of importance to Peele, the player-coach relationship. Coach Ken Greene is someone Peele feels comfortable with. "I like him," Peele said of the Cougs' defensive backs coach. "He's real cool. I met him last year and he's a good guy."
As to what style of defense he prefers, while its a consideration, it isn't as much a major factor in Peele's decision making process. He feels he can fit in well on any defense. "I think I would be able to adapt to whatever style defense a school plays."
Future plans: Peele has no set timetable on when he'll make his decision, nor if he'll take all five visits. "I don't know. I want to make my decision early if possible. I don't think I'm going to take all 5 trips, but I don't know yet. I do plan on taking a USC visit, probably at the end of the season, maybe in January."
Heading into this weekend, Peele says he has two leaders; "I would say my top schools right now are USC and Cal. But WSU is right there too. Maybe just a little below those two."