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Eric Peterson, Published May 01 2013

Peterson poised for Dragons football

FARGO – Offensive lineman Troy Peterson looked the part as he walked off the field Wednesday night at Sid Cichy Stadium.

The 6-foot-4 Peterson had about 275 pounds on his frame, around 30 pounds heavier than he was last fall when he started at guard for Minnesota State Moorhead as a true freshman.

“He’s done a great job of transforming his body from a high school body to a college body,” Dragons head coach Steve Laqua said.

For Peterson and the Dragons, Wednesday’s scrimmage was the final spring practice. Improving offensive line play was one of the priorities for the Dragons during this spring camp.

“It all starts offensively with that group,” Laqua said. “You’ve got to have a group that can take care of the line of scrimmage … and we’re making progress toward that.”

The Dragons ran 55 plays on a chilly night, which saw temperatures dip into the 30s by the end of the evening. The offense capped the scrimmage with a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback J.T. Jurasin to wide receiver Garrett Shelley. Jurasin sits behind Jake Hodge and Ryan Toelle on the QB depth chart. Safeties Brandon Nelson and Anthony Binford each had interceptions.

Peterson, who played

9-man football for Ulen-Hitterdal (Minn.) in high school, was initially projected to play tight end for the Dragons last fall. He was quickly moved to the offensive line, where he settled in as a starting guard for all 11 games. He played his first college season at around 245 pounds, so adding bulk became a priority this offseason.

“It’s definitely helped me during spring ball,” Peterson said of the added weight. “I can feel it.”

Peterson played an offensive end spot in high school, meaning he was already used to run blocking. Pass blocking was something he hadn’t done much heading into his college career.

Peterson was one of three freshmen who started on the offensive line by the end of last season. He feels the offensive line has matured over the 15 spring practices.

“I think we’re coming together as a group,” Peterson said. “We were really young last year, and I think we are a lot more comfortable with each other.”

Laqua has been pleased with Peterson’s development, along with the rest of the offensive this spring. Laqua said the unit has been more physical and consistent.

Peterson is the type of lineman that Laqua favors in MSUM’s spread offense.

“He is the ideal lineman that we want to go with,” Laqua said. “A big guy, he’s athletic. He can move in space. We’re happy with how he’s progressed here. The athleticism is important for what we do and he has that.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com