LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky defensive tackle Corey Peters was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round of the National Football League Draft on Friday.
Peters was the 83rd overall pick in the 2010 draft and the first Wildcat taken in this year’s selection process. Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday.
“It was really exciting (to hear my name called),” said Peters, who watched the draft in his hometown of Louisville. “Atlanta is a good fit for me with the same 4-3 scheme that I’ve played my whole life and it’s not far from Lexington. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Playing in the NFL is a long-time dream for Peters.
“I remember when my brother (Christopher) and I played one-on-one football in the backyard, with our dad as the full-time quarterback, and talking about playing in the NFL one day,” Peters recalled. “Now having the opportunity to do that for a living is exciting.”
Peters became a dominant force as a senior and was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection by SEC coaches. He totaled 56 tackles last year, including 12 tackles for loss, four quarterback sacks, five pass breakups, one fumble caused and one fumble recovery. Other senior highlights included:
• SEC Defensive Player of the Week in UK’s 34-27 upset win at Georgia when he had a career-high 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, two pass breakups and caused a fumble.
• National and SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week in the game at South Carolina, totaling seven tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
• SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week in the win at Vanderbilt with tackles, 1.5 for loss.
Peters was a four-year letterman and three-year starter for the Wildcats. His career totals feature 153 tackles, 28 for loss (-111 yards) and 11.5 sacks (-82 yards).
Peters helped Kentucky advance to four consecutive bowl games, the first time in school history that had been accomplished. The Wildcats won three of the postseason games, defeating Clemson in the 2006 Music City Bowl, Florida State in the 2007 Music City Bowl and Conference USA champion East Carolina in the Liberty Bowl following the 2008 season.
Also an outstanding student who has completed his degree in secondary social studies education, Peters was a three-year member on the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He received Kentucky’s prestigious Jerry Claiborne Award for academics and team attitude as a senior.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Peters came to UK from Central High School in Louisville. He played in the offensive and defensive lines and was a first-team all-state pick as a senior. He also participated in wrestling, baseball and track and field (shot put, discus throw) while at Central HS.
Peters is the highest UK draftee since defensive end Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns was a third-round pick in 2005. This marks the third-consecutive year that at least one Wildcat has been chosen in the NFL Draft. A total of 17 Wildcats have signed NFL contracts during the last two years.