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Originally published December 25, 2013 at 7:19 PM | Page modified December 26, 2013 at 1:58 AM

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The Huskies’ Marcus Peters takes the Seattle route

Marcus Peters, a 5-foot-11, 193-pound third-year sophomore, earned second-team all-Pac-12 honors while taking over as UW’s No. 1 cornerback.




Seattle Times staff reporter

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The surgical cut, the punishing stiff-arm, the end-zone dive — it was vintage Marshawn Lynch.

The poor cornerback never had a chance.

“Oh, man,” said Marcus Peters, Washington’s standout cornerback. “You saw that?”

Indeed, the play has nearly 1,900 views on YouTube. It happened on a high-school field in Oakland a few years ago, when Peters was a senior at McClymonds High School. Lynch, a close family friend, had been home and, as they often do when the Seahawks’ star running back comes back to Oakland, they went out and played.

“That’s just something we have to do. We get out there and just compete,” Peters said. “We just have fun — that’s us. We love football. If all else fails, we’re doing it for the love of the game.”

Peters has known Lynch for as long as he can remember. He considers him a cousin, though there are no official family ties, and they talk or text regularly.

“It’s just crazy that we both ended up in Seattle together,” Peters said. “He’s doing really well right now, and I hope they get to the Super Bowl this season.”

Peters is doing pretty well, too.

A 5-foot-11, 193-pound third-year sophomore, Peters earned second-team all-Pac-12 honors while taking over as UW’s No. 1 cornerback, a title previously held by Desmond Trufant, a first-round NFL draft pick earlier this year.

Entering Friday’s Fight Hunger Bowl against Brigham Young at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, Peters leads the Huskies (8-4) with five interceptions and 14 pass breakups, plus 54 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble return for a touchdown.

“I made some decent strides,” he said, “but I put so much on myself and I want to do so much from myself that I don’t think I can ever say that I achieved my goals. I beat myself up over everything. I for sure need to get better at being 100 percent dialed in on my technique day in and day out.

“When I watch film, I can see it, but I just need to stay on that — stay on being consistent with my technique.”

Peters’ father, Michael Peters, is the head coach of the McClymonds football team, having served for a long time as an assistant coach before that. He said he was able to gather 50 or 60 tickets for the Fight Hunger Bowl and was hoping to find more for McClymonds players and staffers by Friday.

“That’s Oakland — we’re going to bring the noise,” Michael Peters said.

As a kid, Marcus remembers pestering his father for a chance to play with his older brothers and the older neighborhood kids in west Oakland.

“I grew up right across the street from my high school,” Marcus Peters said. “My dad’s been coaching there since I was a baby and I’ve been around football my whole life. I just love the game.”

And he loves to give back.

Earlier this week, Michael Peters said he firmed up plans with his son for Marcus to come back and talk to the McClymonds players about his experiences in college and how they might be able to get there, too.

It’s something Lynch has done in the past in his hometown and Peters is trying to follow that example.

“Oakland is a family,” Michael Peters said. “Our whole thing is, you gotta give back to where you come from.”

Marcus Peters learned another lesson that reverberates on the football field.

“I love to talk trash. That’s just me. I can’t change. That’s how I play football,” he said. “It comes from being around Marshawn and my brothers. That’s how we do it. It’s not fun unless you’re talking trash.”

The young Peters was left speechless after that move Lynch made in the 14-second YouTube video.

It was a playful sequence, a one-on-one passing drill run in shorts and T-shirts. Lynch cut off his short route at the 14-yard line, caught a pass and shifted to his right as Peters slipped harmlessly by him, flying flat on his back like a snow angel. Lynch paused, delivered a signature stiff-arm — and a laugh — with his left arm and raced alone to the end zone, diving in out of camera.

No, Marcus Peters said, he’s never actually tackled Lynch (and, among helpless defensive backs, he’s not alone).

“I’ll get my chance,” he added, chuckling. “It’s coming.”

Michael Peters laughed at the comment.

“I would love to see what Marshawn had to say about that one,” he said.

Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or ajude@seattletimes.com. On Twitter: @a_jude.



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