|Photo by David Stone
It’s said that football often runs in the family. Never was that any more true than in the Peat family.
And, as the season winds down, Corona del Sol High School is benefiting from having not one but two Peat family members on Aztec teams, with one more on the way.
Brothers Todd Jr. and Andrus Peat are the sons of Todd Peat Sr., a former NFL football player who was drafted in 1987 out of Northern Illinois University by the St. Louis Cardinals as an offensive lineman. He played with the Cardinals, relocating to Phoenix when the organization moved here in 1988, until he was traded to the Los Angeles Raiders in 1990 and retired after the 1993 season.
Peat Sr., like many people from the Midwest, fell in love with Arizona. He even commuted to Phoenix while playing with the Raiders.
It was here, in south Tempe, that he and his wife chose to raise their seven children—the three oldest following in dad’s footsteps.
Sophomore Todd Jr., who started football during his freshman year, plays offensive and defensive lineman on Corona’s varsity team, but says he prefers playing defense.
“I like both sides of the ball, but I think I prefer defense,” said Todd Jr. “I love sacking the quarterback.”
He credits his dad with teaching him the basics of football, including how to play as part of a team and to be a good student-athlete.
“My dad’s taught me fundamentals, like staying low and taking the right step,” said Todd Jr. “He also taught me to be a good teammate, to listen to my coaches, to play whistle to whistle, and to never take a play off. But being a good student-athlete is the most important part of the game.”
Todd Jr. would like to follow the route his dad took, and play college ball. His current lists of potential universities include Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Texas, Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Oklahoma.
Todd’s brother Andrus just finished his first year of playing football on Corona’s freshman team and, like his father and older brother, has developed a passion for the sport.
“I love playing football, especially bonding with my teammates and learning from my coaches,” said Andrus.
Also like his older brother, Todd Jr., Andrus plays both offensive and defensive lineman but with a different preference.
“I like playing offense because my dad played that position in the NFL and can teach me a lot and help me when I need it,” said Andrus.
“My dad’s taught me many basic fundamentals, such as good footwork, staying low and staying on the blocks. He’s also taught me how to be a good teammate and a student of the game.”
According to Andrus, he is looking forward to next season but had fun playing with his talented teammates and will miss the great freshman coaching staff at Corona. Andrus also has his heart set on playing football in college, but his list is currently a bit shorter than his brother’s. ASU, Arizona, Cal, USC and Texas are Andrus’ priorities.
Waiting in the wings is a third Peat son, 11-year old Cassius Peat, who not only plays football but AAU club basketball.
“Cassius plays NFL flag football, and because he wants to be a quarterback, we started him early,” said Todd Sr.
“Cassius also plays AAU club basketball for Arizona Premier and is considered one of the top players in the country and is even rated by Rivals.” (Rivals is an online ranking company that follows athletes and ranks them for college scouts and coaches.)
As to his own career reflections, Todd Sr. says he misses the camaraderie with his teammates and the Sunday games but doesn’t miss the preparation it takes both mentally and physically to play.
Although he still struggles daily due to several injuries from playing football, he would do it again, he says, in a heartbeat. But having his sons play football has been special for him.
“Watching my sons play football has brought back a lot of fond memories,” said Todd Sr.
“I want to see them be good citizens and student-athletes.”