Local Guy Heads to NFL Camp

Leonard Peters
Leonard Peters
July 19, 2007 12:43 AM

(KHNL) - 4,960 miles.

That's how far it is from Kahuku to New York City.

That's far to go, but just the right distance for local guy Leonard Peters.

The North Shore native is in Big Apple tonight, prepping for his first NFL training camp next week, with the New York Jets.

He's pumped up about this chance, because he knows, as a NFL newbie, the window of opportunity won't be open long.

For most, the dream of playing in the National Football League is just that, a dream.

But for some, like Peters, the NFL dream is within reach.

That's not bad for a guy who once thought even college ball was a stretch.

"I don't even think I was thinking college when I came out of high school. I was just glad coach (Rich) Miano gave me the opportunity to come and play college. He gave a lot of words of encouragement that helped me through college and so its a great opportunity for me to take a big step in my life."

And nobody's worked harder to get this point than Leonard Peters.

Despite a long list of injuries, the Kahuku and UH grad proved to be resilient.

His hard nosed play, and penchant for the big hit, made a big impression on the Jets, who signed peters as a free agent.

"Just being in New York, you know big city, its like Vegas the city that never sleeps, its business up there and you're under the spotlight. You know it felt like my freshman year in college, you don't know what to expect but you're excited at the same time."

Though the odds are long for any free agent to make an NFL roster, Peters thrives in the role of underdog.

"Its a good thing because it makes for a good story, you know if you make the team you can tell the kids what you had to go through. For me it doesn't matter if I was a draft pick or a free agent, just making the team is good enough for me."

Peters and the Jets open training camp next Friday, in Hempstead, New York.